A recent study shows it costs parents $300,000 to raise a child in the United States, as inflation soars nationwide to a 40-year high, per reports.
The study, conducted by the Brookings Institution, found that the cost of paying for a child through high school, or until 17 to 18 years old, is estimated to be at $310,605, which comes out to $18,271 per year.
In comparison, in 2021 the average cost of raising a child born to a middle-income, married couple was approximately $267,000 (in 2021 dollars) over a period of 18 years, or over $14,800 a year per child for a typical two-child household, according to a U.S. News & World Report.
The study was based findings from middle-class married couples with two children in the household. The younger of those two children, hypothetically born in 2015, would be the one to cost over a quarter of a million dollars to raise.
Meanwhile, inflation rates have been running close to a four-decade high, with parents being forced to pay more for everything, from childcare to milk and cereal.
The cost of raising a child through high school has risen to more than $300,000 because of inflation that is running close to a four-decade high, according to a Brookings Institution estimate. https://t.co/k84F70Fsy8 via @rinatorchi pic.twitter.com/IwmIYaRA3v
— Akane Otani (@akaneotani) August 19, 2022
Birth Rates See Steep 20 Percent Decline Since 2007, Studies Show
Concurrently, birth rates across the United States have continued to drop since 2007. While 2021 saw a small spike in births, economists say it still doesn’t cover much of the decrease caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which emerged a year beforehand.
As of 2020, the U.S. birth rate was 55.8 births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44, a decline of almost 20 percent from the rate of 69.3 back in 2007, per a February 2022 report.
The number of young adults that say they’re not likely or not likely at all to have kids has increased from 37 percent to 44 percent from 2018 to 2022, placarding to the Pew Research Center.
The American Economic Association said “shifting priorities” are the likely culprit in regards to birth rates.
“We conjecture that the ‘shifting priorities’ of more recent cohorts, reflecting changes in preferences for having children, aspirations for life, and parenting norms, may be responsible.”
Inflation Rates Disproportionately Affect Black Families, Who Earn 30 Percent Less Than White Households
Inflation has made raising children even more difficult for Black families, who experience more price volatility, or price changes that hinder budgeting efforts, than non-Black households, the study found.
Last year, Forbes reported that Black families earn 30 percent, or about $10,000, less than white households,
And the annual average wage of all U.S. workers is about $42,000, while 43 percent of Black workers earn less than $30,000 per year.
Earlier this week, President Biden and Congressional Democrats passed a piece of legislation that lowers costs for Black Americans and their families, according to the White House.
The Inflation Reduction Act will lower health care costs, including prescription drug costs, and expand health insurance coverage for Black families.