According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in 2010, the average cost of raising a child from birth to age 17 is $226,920.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released a report that compares the cost of raising a child in 2010 to the cost in 1960. The findings indicate that it has become 22% more expensive to raise children over the last 50 years ($226, 920 in 2010 vs. $185,856 in 1960, if we adjust for inflation). Since the age group stops at 17, these costs do not include college expenses.
The calculations are made with the assumption that the child is in a middle-income, husband-and-wife family. The methodology for calculating child care costs has changed over the years, but a general comparison is still possible.
The highest individual cost increases were in health care costs, child care costs (probably because more moms have entered the workforce) and education expenses, all of which increased in real terms and as a percentage of total expenses.
While food costs are still a major expense, it is interesting to note that it has actually decreased since 1960 (after inflation adjustments). Clothing expenses also have decreased after inflation.