Cost of raising a child now tops $233,000

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Expecting a baby? Congratulations! Better put plenty of money in your savings account.

The Department of Agriculture says the estimated cost of raising a child from birth through age 17 is $233,610, or as much as almost $14,000 annually. That's the average for a middle-income couple with two children. It's a bit more expensive in urban parts of the country, and less so in rural areas.

In the "urban Midwest," the average cost is a little more than $217,000. The average cost in rural areas across the United States is about $193,000.

(Photo: USDA)
(Photo: USDA)

The estimate is based on 2015 numbers, so a baby born this year is likely to cost even more.

And once you've paid all that, don't forget about college!

The USDA says the average cost of attending a private college is over $45,000, compared with about $20,000 to go to a public school.

Since 1960, the USDA has compiled the annual report to inform budget-preparing parents. State governments and courts also use the information to write child support and foster care guidelines. The main costs include housing, food, transportation, health care, education, clothing and other miscellaneous expenses.

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