How much it really cost to raise kids

It costs less than $4,000 a year to raise a kid—seriously?

We’ve pegged the number closer to $13,000 a year.


According to a recent Fraser Institute study, parents should be able to raise healthy kids on between $3,000 and $4,500 a year. Much of the report tried to debunk a 2011 MoneySense article, “The real cost of raising kids,” where we worked with a demographer to determine the costs of raising a child to age 18 for an average two-child family. Compare how our estimates differed.

New parents typically buy larger vehicles, but Fraser argues this cost is attributed to “their new lifestyle” and “would not be a cost of a child per se.”

If one parent leaves work to stay at home, this is hardly cost-free. But Fraser says families with children “have little or no daycare costs.”