An "expensive blessing": Raising a kid costs $241k

(CBS News) No one doubts raising a child is expensive, but did you ever try to figure out exactly how much it costs?

The government did.

According to a report released Wednesday - from the Department of Agriculture, no less - raising a little sprout born last year to age 18 will cost more than $241,000. That's up about $6,100 from the year before.

Music producer David Bruner stopped working when his daughter Mae was born. Childcare cost too much, even though his wife earns a six-figure salary as an attorney in New York City.

Music producer David Bruner and his daughter Mae.
Music producer David Bruner and his daughter Mae. CBS News

"It's expensive from the moment you find out you are pregnant until the end of it," he said.

When adjusted for inflation, the cost of raising a child born in 2012 is 23 percent higher than for a child born in 1960.

The fastest-rising costs are child care and education (4.2 percent), health care (3.6 percent), and clothing (3.6 percent) - all up about four percent or more compared to the year before.

The report does not include the cost of college or take into account the income lost by parents who stay at home.

Expenses are the lowest in the south, where it will cost more than $226,000. It's highest in the northeast, where Bruner lives. The cost there typically tops $277,000.

The Bruners plan on having another child. But for financial reasons, two is probably their limit.

"It's an expensive blessing," he said, but he's "more than okay" with it.

The report found that as a family has more children, expenses per child decrease. That's partly because there's more sharing of things like clothes and toys. Families with three or more kids spend about 22 percent less per child compared to families with just two children.

  • Elaine Quijano

    Elaine Quijano was named a CBS News correspondent in January 2010. Quijano reports for "CBS This Morning" and the "CBS Evening News," and contributes across all CBS News platforms. She is based in New York.