Many New Yorkers have been questioning the value of procreation since bars started turning away the diapered masses, and now a new federal study's proving this city might not be the best place to raise your bundle of joy, after all—it'll cost a middle-class family from NYC nearly $500,000 to provide for a kid over the first 18 years of his or her life. And that's about twice the national average, so if you plan on spawning, now might be a good time to give up, move to the suburbs and trade in your MetroCard for a Ford Explorer.
According to a recent report [pdf] released by the United States Department of Agriculture, it'll cost a middle-class American family an average of $245,340 to raise a child born in 2013—that number only covers the child's first 18 years of life, so let's hope people have finally given up on college by 2031. That's $4,260 more than the average cost of raising a child born in 2012, and $46,780 more than it cost to raise a child born in 1960, when you adjust for inflation.
Note that today's middle-income, husband/wife households will spend 18 percent of that quarter million on childcare and education (not including the cost of college!), 31 percent on housing, and only 16 percent on food. (Only chumps spend money on baby food during that first year.) Also note that these statistics are per child not per family, so raising a pair of siblings will strip your household of considerably more money, plus dignity.
As for demographics, the USDA found that childrearing costs were highest in the urban Northeast, with middle-class families expected to spend as much as $18,000 on a child aged 15 to 17, up from around $15,000 for that same child when he or she is under two years old. Rural middle-class families, meanwhile, will spend an estimated $12K on an older child, up from about $10,500 when he or she is under 2.
Naturally, though, things are a little more expensive here in the Land of the $10 Latte; since it costs significantly more to live here than anywhere else, raising a child here will cost middle-class parents about twice the national average. "The food is more expensive, and the housing — the housing is just off the charts for you guys," USDA economist Mark Lino told the Post, noting that NYC's expected childrearing average will be about $500,000.
According to NerdWallet, that cost could actually be as high as $540,514 when adjusted for cost of living; in Brooklyn, NerdWallet estimates the cost could be $400,951.
And that's for a middle-class family—while the average cost of living has continued to rise in NYC, the average middle-class income has dropped significantly this century. In 2013, the Times noted that middle-class income falls somewhere between $45,000 and $134,000 annually. That average range skyrockets to $80,000 to $235,000 for anyone seeking a middle-class "lifestyle." Then, of course, there are the designer clothing-clad children of NYC's upper crust, terrorizing all the "poors" with their anonymous gossip websites and private planes. Time to open an American Museum of Natural History outpost in Downtown Waterbury, Vermont, everyone.