Cha-ching! The average cost of raising a child from birth to 18 is $233,000

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Most parents will tell you their children are priceless and worth every single penny - well, here is how much all those pennies total.

According to the government's most recent "Cost of Raising a Child" study, the price tag to raise a child born in 2015 from birth through the age of 17 averages out to a whopping $233,000, or $13,000 per year - and that does not include pregnancy or the cost of college.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture put out the study, stating that that fortune has actually decreased since 2014, when the numbers came in at $245,000, in part due to dropping oil prices and the decreased cost of transportation.

The estimates vary by the age of the children, income levels, and location, with rural areas paying the least.

Daycare prices are much less expensive in rural areas than in New York City, for instance, where child care costs upwards of $18,000 per year.

The new government data also shows that lower income families average paying nearly $175,000 for their first child, while higher income families spend above the national average at more than $372,000 over the 17 years.

Here is how the numbers break down - the study found that of the average $233,000 cost of a child up to age 18, married couples spend on average:

  • 29 percent on housing
  • 18 percent on food
  • 16 percent on childcare or education
  • 15 percent on transportation
  • 9 percent on health care
  • 7 percent on miscellaneous items
  • 6 percent on clothing

According to the report, families with multiple children spend about 24 percent  less per additional child, as things like transportation costs remain the same for one or multiple children, housing costs remain the same if kids share a bedroom, and clothing can be handed down from one sibling to the next.

While the cost of having a child has decreased in recent years, so has the number of new parents.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics states births are down by 1 percent since 2014, with 3.9 million babies born in the U.S. in 2015.

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