The states where it’s most and least affordable to raise children

Raising kids is more affordable in the Northeast, surprisingly.

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Raising kids is more affordable in the Northeast, surprisingly.
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Dmitry Smirnov/Strelka/Flickr

  • The average American family will spend $233,610 to raise a child through age 17, according to data from the US Department of Agriculture.
  • But that figure can fluctuate – becoming more or less affordable – when you consider cost of living and wages in different parts of the US.
  • The states where raising a child is most affordable are in the Northeast, according to a report by Credit Loan.

Raising kids isn’t cheap.

Between food, childcare, healthcare, transportation, and education costs, the average two-parent family in the US will spend a total of $233,610 to raise a child from birth through age 17, according to data from the US Department of Agriculture.

But that figure can fluctuate – becoming more or less affordable – when you consider cost of living and wages in different parts of the US.

Using MIT’s Living Wage calculator, personal finance guide Credit Loan found the average expenses in each state for a one-parent, one-child household as well as a two-parent, one-child household. After calculating the average of those numbers, Credit Loan compared it to the U.S. Census Bureau’s median income for each state to determine how much of a household’s budget is spent on child-related costs.

Housing accounts for a third of the total estimated cost of raising kids, while food, childcare, and education costs make up another third of the overall budget, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

The map below shows the five states where it’s most affordable to raise kids – and the five states where it’s least affordable.

most and least expensive states to raise kids v2

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Andy Kiersz/Business Insider

In New Jersey, Maryland, and Connecticut parents can expect to put less than 60% of their total income into child-related costs. By contrast, in Nevada, Florida, and Arizona, the least affordable states to have children, child-related costs will eat up more than 80% of the household income.

The cost associated with raising children is also affected by how many kids you have and whether you’re a single parent or a two-parent household. Couples tend to earn more and, as a result, spend more on their children,according to Credit Loan’s analysis.