Raising Child Costs $222K, College Not Included

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The cost of raising a child is rising. And expectant parents better get ready for some serious sticker shock - $222,360 worth.

That's how much an Agriculture Department report says the average American family will spend from cradle to college on a child born last year.

That amounts to $11,650 to $13,530 a year, depending on the child's age.

The total price of parental bliss is up 1 percent from 2008 with expenses for education, child care, and health care climbing the most. Transportation costs actually went down a bit, so rev up the minivan.

Good news though for parents with three kids or more: it pays to birth them in bulk. Parents can save 22 percent per child. Call it the Costco effect. Parents save by buying large quantities of food and other household items at a discount and by having kids share bedrooms.

But the study leaves out one major expense - college. And four years at a private institution can cost half as much as the first 17 years of a child's life.

According to the Department of Education, the average cost of one year in a four-year college now costs $30,393 which includes tuition, room and board, and other expenses.

All in all, parents are now being asked to pony up $343,932 to take a child from birth to college graduation.

Let's hope the class of 2032 finds some great jobs.

Get the government's full report here and stock up on the tissues.

  • CBSNews

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