Aug. 20

A weekly publication of               8/20/2014

Did you know... 

For middle-income families, housing costs are the single largest expenditure on a child, averaging 30 percent of the total cost. Child care and education was the second largest expense at 18 percent, followed by food, which accounted for 16 percent of the total cost.

Dear Pat,

This was in my mailbox this morning and I thought I’d share it with you this week.

Parents Projected to Spend $245,340 to Raise a Child Born in 2013, According to USDA Report

Data shows lowest costs are in urban South and rural regions of the U.S., costs highest in urban Northeast

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its annual report, Expenditures on Children and Families, also known as the Cost of Raising a Child. The report shows that a middle-income family with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend about $245,340 ($304,480 adjusted for projected inflation*) for food, housing, childcare and education, and other child-rearing expenses up to age 18. Costs associated with pregnancy or expenses occurred after age 18, such as higher education, are not included.

While this represents an overall 1.8 percent increase from 2012, the percentages spent on each expenditure category remain the same. As in the past, the costs by location are lower in the urban South ($230,610) and rural ($193,590) regions of the country. Families in the urban Northeast incurred the highest costs to raise a child ($282,480).

"In today's economy, it's important to be prepared with as much information as possible when planning for the future," said USDA Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Under Secretary Kevin Concannon. "In addition to giving families with children an indication of expenses they might want to be prepared for, the report is a critical resource for state governments in determining child support guidelines and foster care payments."

The report, issued annually, is based on data from the federal government'sConsumer Expenditure Survey, the most comprehensive source of information available on household expenditures. For the year 2013, annual child-rearing expenses per child for a middle-income, two-parent family ranged from $12,800 to $14,970, depending on the age of the child.

The report, developed by the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP), notes that family income affects child-rearing costs. A family earning less than $61,530 per year can expect to spend a total of $176,550 (in 2013 dollars) on a child from birth up to age 18. Middle-income** parents with an income between $61,530 and $106,540 can expect to spend $245,340; and a family earning more than $106,540 can expect to spend $407,820.

"Food is among the top three expenses in raising children," said CNPP Executive Director Angela Tagtow. "Parents have the challenge of providing food that is not only healthful and delicious, but also affordable. We have great resources such as that features tips to help families serve nutritious and affordable meals. I encourage parents to check out our Healthy Eating On a Budget resources, 10-Tips Nutrition Series, recipes, and MyPlate Kids' Place, which features digital games for kids to get engaged themselves in healthy eating."

For middle-income families, housing costs are the single largest expenditure on a child, averaging 30 percent of the total cost. Child care and education was the second largest expense at 18 percent, followed by food, which accounted for 16 percent of the total cost.

"Variations by geographic region are marked when we look at housing, for example," said study author and CNPP economist Mark Lino, Ph.D. "The average cost of housing for a child up to age 18 is $87,840 for a middle-income family in the urban West, compared to $66,240 in the urban South, and $70,200 in the urban Midwest. It's interesting to note that other studies are showing that families are increasingly moving to these areas of the country with lower housing cost."

In 1960, the first year the report was issued, a middle-income family could have expected to spend $25,230 ($198,560 in 2013 dollars) to raise a child until the age of 18. Housing was the largest child-rearing expense both then and now. Health care expenses for a child have doubled as a percentage of total child-rearing costs during that time. In addition, some common current-day costs, such as child care, were negligible in 1960.

Expenses per child decrease as a family has more children. Families with three or more children spend 22 percent less per child than families with two children. As families have more children, the children can share bedrooms, clothing and toys can be handed down to younger children, food can be purchased in larger and more economical quantities, and private schools or child care centers may offer sibling discounts.

The full report, Expenditures on Children by Families, 2013, is available on the web at In addition, families can enter the number and ages of their children to obtain an estimate of costs with a calculator via the interactive web version of the report.

Saturday, August 23, 5:00pm – 8:30pm, Republican Candidates' Debate (US Senate, US Congress, Governor), Front St, Exeter, NH 03833, USA

Click here to see more events in New Hampshire!

We have been spending a lot of time at candidate events the past couple of months. From the North Country to the Seacoast the ECM-NH staff has been sitting in American Legion Halls, at country orchards, in function halls, and town halls across the State. It has truly been a learning experience. One that I hope you are also taking advantage of as well. You never know from one event to the next what a candidate will say about an issue and how his or her answer and position may change. In case you can’t get to a candidate event, we are tweeting what we have been seeing and hearing. Are you following us? Our Twitter handle is @ECMNH.

All of this has been in preparation for the NH Primary on September 9th.

Are you aware that this great opportunity is coming to the city or town where you live?

Did you know that it is a FREE event?

Guess what? You don’t even need to do anything before that date to participate. You just need to be at least 18 years of age, a United States citizen, and live in the community where you intend to vote. Just show up atyour polling place with proper identification and you can VOTE!

There’s even a webpage that can answer any questions you may have about how to participate!!

You already may have decided you’ve got other pressing plans forSeptember 9th— plans that will keep you busy from dawn to dusk, or you are going to be out of state. Well there is still a way for you to participate. It is called an absentee ballot.

But in case you have a wee bit of time open that day, here’s a bit of history  from the Women’s Suffrage Publishing Company, dated 1916, as to why women especially, should make it a point to vote.

It wasn’t too long ago that we were not afforded that opportunity.

Twelve Reasons Why Women Should Vote

  • BECAUSE those who obey the laws should help to choose those who make the laws.
  • Because laws affect women as much as me.
  • Because laws which affect WOMEN are now passed without consulting them.
  • Because laws affecting CHILDREN should include the woman’s point of view as well as the man’s.
  • Because laws affecting the HOME are voted on in every session of the Legislature.
  • Because women have experience which would be helpful to legislation,
  • Because to deprive women of the vote is to lower their position in common estimation.
  • Because having the vote would increase the sense of responsibility among women toward questions of public importance.
  • Because public spirited mothers make public spirited sons.
  • Because about 8,000,000 women in the United States are wage workers, and the conditions under which they work are controlled by law.
  • Because the objections against their having the vote are based on prejudice, not reason.
  • Because to sum up all the reasons in one – IT IS FOR THE COMMON GOOD OF ALL.

171 Madison Avenue, New York City

Mark your calendar today, so you won’t forget! Your Vote is your Voice!

MaryLou Beaver
New Hampshire Director
Every Child Matters Education Fund

You can help win the fight for our kids by making a tax-deductible donation to ECM in any amount at

Every Child Matters is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to make children a national political priority. For more information, visit
1023 15th St. NW Suite 401 Washington, DC 20005

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