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Cost Of Raising A Child Continues To Rise, Bay Area Cities Among Costliest

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(CBS) – Ranging from the monthly grocery bill to day care, the cost of raising a child born in 2012 will average $241,080 by the time they are 18 years old.

According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released on Wednesday, food, shelter and other child-rearing necessities will set a middle-class family back nearly a quarter-million dollars – or $301,970 when adjusted for future inflation.

The annual report, based upon the Federal government’s Consumer Expenditure Survey, showed a 2.6 percent increase from the same study representing a child born in 2011.

“As the economy continues to recover, families are naturally cost conscious. This report gives families with children a greater awareness of the expenses they are likely to face,” said USDA Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Under Secretary Kevin Concannon. “The report is also a valuable resource for courts and state governments in determining child support guidelines and foster care payments.”

The average cost is likely much higher here in the Bay Area, home to four of the most expensive places to have a baby during a 40-city survey released by Redfin earlier this month. That study found the first year of a child’s life in San Jose cost the average family more than $41,000 – the highest price in the country. San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa were also among the ten costliest places to raise a child.

Not surprisingly, the cost of housing and childcare are among the factors pushing up the average price in the area.

According to the federal report released Wednesday, the costliest region is the urban Northeast for families earning $105,360 or more. They will spend $446,100, much more than the national average, according to the report. Meanwhile, families earning less than $61,590 a year in rural areas will spend the least, at $143,160.

For just the year 2012, the report found that middle-income, two-parent families spent on average between $12, 600 to $14,700 per child.

For middle-income families, housing costs are the single largest expenditure on a child, averaging $71,820 or 30 percent of the total cost over 17 years. Child care and education (for those incurring these expenses) and food were the next two largest expenses, accounting for 18 and 16 percent of the total cost over 17 years.

Since 2000, the cost of child care has increased twice as fast as the median income of families with children, according to the most recent report from Child Care Aware of America.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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