Here’s an idea: When we give teenagers the pregnancy talk, along with discussions of birth control and responsibility, we should hand out a copy of the USDA’s annual “Cost of Raising a Child” report. Because, frankly, it’s terrifying. Parents of kids born in 2013 will spend an average of $245,340 (or $304.480 adjusted for inflation) on that child from birth to age 18–and no, that doesn’t include college costs.
Now, Baltimoreans can expect a bit of a break, at least when it comes to the averages; the USDA survey counts Maryland as part of the south, and notes that costs for things like housing and child care are lower in this part of the country. Not by much, though.
According to the report, the cost of raising a child is significantly higher than it was a few decades ago, even when adjusted for inflation. A large portion of that increase can be attributed to health care costs, and also the rising costs of child care. A further frightening point: Day care is more expensive than college in Maryland.
If that’s not an argument for safe sex, I don’t know what is!
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