Independent research

The Cost of a Child

Posted on January 04, 2012

The average cost of raising a child to the age of 21 has crashed through the £200,000 barrier.

The latest annual report from the UK’s largest friendly society, LV=, reveals that it costs £9,610 a year to feed, clothe and educate each new member of the family. And that doesn’t include private school fees, just the costs associated with a state school education including uniform, sports equipment and the cost of school trips.

Parents in outer London face the biggest cost of £220,769. Yorkshire and the Humber is the cheapest area at £177,706.

Childcare accounts for the biggest drain on resources and could add up to as much as £54,896 for one child between the ages of 6 months and 16 for a typical household where both parents are working.

How the figures add up

  • During the first 12 months of a new baby’s life, parents spend £9,152. This includes the cost of all the equipment they need such as a pram, cot and buggies.
  • Parents in London pay the most for childcare with nurseries costing as much as £11,050 a year.
  • Between the ages of 1 and 4 a child costs around £13,014 a year.
  • Research shows that the cost of raising a child peaks during the university years (age 18-21) when parents pay out £13,677 a year.

The costs are based on calculations carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research for LV= and on research using a sample of 3,953 adults.


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