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How much does it cost to raise a child in the USA

Children are not only a great happiness, but also a partial ruin. Although being a parent in the United States and in the post-Soviet space is not at all the same thing.

In 2017, American researchers calculated how much it would cost a family on average to support a child from birth to 18 years of age. The amount was almost $234,000. If we divide this figure very roughly, every year parents need to allocate about $13,000 for children's needs from the budget.

Because of these costs, many refuse to have children. Since the 60s, the amount of their content has grown steadily. A significant part of the population is made up of immigrants, who do not always have enough for themselves — their children live mainly on state benefits. If the situation does not change, sociologists predict a demographic crisis by 2030.

Now let's figure out why that kind of money, in fact, is given, and at the same time we will learn more about the American tradition of upbringing.


The cost of raising a child in America — Photo of a girl with an American flag — American ButlerIf you thought American adults were spending a lot of money on food, then you will be shocked by the cost of baby food. On average, Americans spend 60-70% more on food for their children than on their own. And the point here, of course, is not the quantity of products.

Parental anxiety works for the good of marketing. It is extremely rare to get used to homemade food here; from the first years of life, little Americans eat industrial products. Purchased baby food (formula, mashed potatoes, semi-finished products, etc.) is usually separated from the "adult" by labels about how organic and healthy everything is. And therefore it is extremely expensive — 2-3 times more expensive than a similar product without the mark “acceptable for children”.

The funny thing is that as soon as a child enters kindergarten or elementary school, after "natural and organic", he is immediately planted on dry food and ordinary American fast food.


Of course, they don't buy separate living space for a child, but it is customary to expand their houses with the birth of children. Most Americans, even in the last months of pregnancy, move to larger houses (as a rule, if the family previously lived in an apartment, it changes to a house). Accordingly, rental costs also rise.

This is due to the fact that the American mentality does not allow children and parents to live together. Ideally, each child should have their own separate room. Sometimes it even goes against common sense, but few people care about it. There is a child — you need separate rooms, space and, preferably, a small yard near the house, where the child will play.

In large cities, where many are forced to live in apartments without the possibility of connecting the nursery to the common living space, they even record an increased number of abortions.

How much does it cost to raise a child in the USA — photo of a doctor and a child — American Butler


Children in the United States can use a parent's or guardian's health insurance until they turn 26. That is why the costs of examinations and treatment are not so high, but they are still there. Most of the services parents pay for are not covered by insurance. Namely:

  • Dentists and orthodontists — due to specific nutrition and an abundance of sugar, teeth in children often need treatment, and a beautiful smile is a tribute to existence;
  • Endocrinologists and nutritionists — there is no need to explain here, but in recent years, parents have been actively fighting childhood obesity;
  • Speech therapists — parents are far from always eager to deal with the development of speech with their children, pushing everything to school in the future, at school they do not always cope with existing problems.


Children in the USA — Photos of Children at School Lunch — American ButlerHere prices vary greatly from state to state. But no elite private school can compare in terms of expenditure with another item — tutors and clubs. A lot is spent on them and with pleasure. It is believed that they are resorted to in two cases:

  1. when the child does not keep up with the program so much that it is already a disaster;
  2. when a child is so curious and capable that it is a sin not to invest.

Both cost money. Moreover, it is always difficult to find tutors — due to their high demand, there is always a shortage of them.

But that's not all. The main expense of parents, for the sake of which all the previous ones were committed, are colleges and universities. At the very least, money is needed to move — 9 out of 10 students prefer to live on college campuses remote from home. In addition, most Americans consider a student loan to be absolutely normal. And the first installment usually falls on the shoulders of the parents, and then how it goes. Of course, in most cases it is difficult for a graduate to give it to himself and the family can help. But this does not happen often — since the chick flew out of the nest, so be kind.

Of course, in some cases, parents can pay for the entire tuition. But this is an expense on top of that same $234,000.

Transportation of children to an American school — American Butler


About 15% of all spending is taking care of transport. They include everything from strollers to skateboards, bicycles and your own car. You can drive in the USA from the age of 16, so it is considered bad form not to provide a child with a car at any opportunity.

Clothes, shoes and toys

US Children Expenses — Photos of Girls with Toys on the Beach — American ButlerSurprisingly, the smallest percentage of expenses is only 3-5% for everything, everything, everything. There are several reasons for this:

  1. Most children's clothes are sold at great discounts, as they are not worn for long. To prevent parents from taking clothes from friends and relatives for wearing them out, shops are accommodating and provide a permanent discount.
  2. There are very few branded clothes for children — they just don’t buy it. Quality and natural materials are much more important to Americans.
  3. Even for teenagers, clothing culture is not particularly luxury oriented. Even if there is some "expensive" trend, inexpensive networks immediately duplicate it.

The same goes for toys. Some part is given by relatives, regardless of the level of family income — this is just a tradition. The rest are bought more often either at sales or in large chain hypermarkets like Wallmart, where they are very cheap.

Remaining expenses

There are points worth even less:

  • Babysitting — Hiring a teenage babysitter or student is inexpensive, and demand has been falling over the past few years. After several scandals with negligent nannies, many Americans stopped trusting the child to strangers. If possible, grandparents or other relatives sit with the children;
  • Stationery and other supplies for education and leisure — glory to hypermarkets like Target, they are cheap and very affordable.

Exclusive life hack from American Butler: the cheapest child support is in Michigan and Illinois, if you have the desire and opportunity to move there — why not. We will help you not only with advice, but also in practice — just write us your question or suggestion.

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  • 1.Receiving discounts and bonuses
  • 2.Comments and ratings
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Registration advantages:
  • 1.Receiving discounts and bonuses
  • 2.Comments and ratings
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  • 4.Payment history
  • 5.Subscribe to news and updates
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