"A government report released Tuesday [August 4, 2009] says a middle-income family with a child born last year will spend about $221,000 raising that child through age 17.
The report by the USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion identified housing as the largest single expense, followed by food and child care/education costs. The $221,000 in expenses rises to about $292,000 when adjusted for inflation.
USDA economist Mark Lino, who co-authored the report with Andrea Carlson, often hears people say children cost a lot when the annual findings are issued.
"I tell them children also have many benefits, so you have to keep that in mind," he said."
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