Putting a Price Tag on an American Childhood: $245,340

If you had a kid last year, congrats! That’ll be $245,340. (Or $304,480, after adjusting for expected inflation.) 

That figure, released Monday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is the best estimate of what a middle-income, two-parent household will spend raising a kid by the time he or she turns 18. Children raised in Northeast urban areas — hello, adorable NYC tots — are the priciest American children, according to the report, costing their parents $282,480 over their childhood.

The cost per year increases as the child grows older, starting at about $13,000 for the first year and topping $22,000 by age 17 for a middle-income family (that is, households whose before-tax incomes ranged between between $61,530 and $106,540).

Compare that to 1960, the first time the USDA published this estimate, when the average two-parent, middle-income family could expect to spend $25,229 (or $198,560 in 2013 dollars) raising a child. Housing remains the biggest expense for families, but since the ‘60s, health-care and child-care costs have steadily increased, according to the report. Kids aren’t cheap! 

Putting a Price Tag on Childhood: $245,340