The federal government estimates that the average cost of raising a child born in 2013 to age 18 is $245,340, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This figure is for two-parent, middle-income families earning between $61,530 and $106,540 a year.
The USDA total includes the cost of housing, food, child care and other expenses, although it doesn't include the costs of college. Families that earn less typically spend less to raise their children, the USDA notes. Families earning less than $61,530 a year spend about $176,550 to raise a child. Rural Americans typically spend less than the USDA average, and parents in Northeast urban cities usually spend more.