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How much does it cost to raise a child?

Raising a child costs a grand total of £218,000 according to the latest estimates. We look at the data behind this figure

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There’s plenty of data around on the cost of living generally, but not so much on the cost of specific things like raising a child.

According to the latest figures(pdf) from Liverpool Victoria (LV=) it costs around £218,000 to raise a child in the UK. This equates to around £10,400 a year, £865 a month or £28.44 a day.

But how does LV= get this total cost?

The figures assume a typical household where the child:

  • attends a private nursery from six months until they are five as both parents will return to work
  • attends state school, full time from age 5 to 18
  • takes an annual holiday from the age of one
  • attends university for three-years where tuition fees and living costs are paid in full by the parents

Given this typical household, various scenarios and how much they would costs were considered for the child at different ages.

To cost these scenarios existing surveys were used, including:

  • Office for National Statistics Family Expenditure Survey for expenditure on toys, leisure, recreation, toiletries and household incomes
  • Mothercare prices on the costs of a baby plus estimates for disposable nappies and baby food
  • Child Poverty Action Group estimates for average spend on food and clothes for children
  • Daycare Trust estimates for the cost of nurseries, childminders, after school clubs, and summer playschemes
  • NannyTax Survey on the cost of nannies
  • National Union of Students estimates for university fees and living expenses
  • AA values for the average cost of driving lessons

Costs of living were also gathered by asking 2,119 UK adults in an online survey.

Altogether this data was used to estimate not only the cost of different things a child requires but also how costs vary in regions of England, as you can see the summary tables below.

The Datablog covered the cost of a child report before, and the biggest cost increase over this time is the child’s education.

It seems likely that the assumption that the parents will pay the complete tuition fees and living costs when the child attends university is responsible for this dramatic increase in the overall cost of raising a child.

Here’s the full breakdown of the costs of raising a child with comparisons to previous years estimated costs. There are some nice details in the LV= report about how parents are dealing with the increasing costs of living. Those details have been covered by The Guardian here.

Let us know what you think in the comments.

Data summary

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DATA: download the full spreadsheet

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