How Much Will That Baby Cost You?

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The average baby born in 2012 will be cute, drooly… and expensive; according to the USDA, it will cost $241,080 to raise a child born this year until s/he turns 18 — and that’s not even counting college.

For the purposes of this study, Maryland counts as a southern state — and that’s a good thing, since the southeast turns out to be the least expensive urban region in which to raise a child:  Average costs are a mere $226,260; a northeastern baby is more than $50,000 more expensive. Adjust for inflation, and today’s new parents can expect to spend more than $300,000 on their newborns.

According to the UDSA’s baby cost calculator, a two-parent family with one child living in the urban south and earning between $61,060 and $105,720 will spend nearly $15,000 on their baby in the first year alone. (Baltimore’s median household income is around $40,000.) Here’s a breakdown of their cost estimates:

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The 2012 baby is 2.6 percent more expensive than the 2011 model. When you consider that median household income has been dropping over the past decade (if you factor in inflation), having a child is sounding more and more like a luxury.

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