Raising a child in the US is most expensive in these 5 states

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Raising a child in the US is most expensive in these 5 states

High inflation has made the price of just about everything in the U.S. more expensive — including how much it costs to raise a child. 

“The cost of everything is rising,” said Matt Schulz, LendingTree chief credit analyst. “There’s so much that goes into child care, including rent, payroll, insurance and much more. When all those costs shoot up, the overall cost of child care does, too.”

The cost of child care surged nearly 20% between 2016 and 2021, the latest year for which complete data is available, according to LendingTree. Annual expenses, excluding tax exemptions or credits, hit $21,681 in 2021, versus $18,167 in 2016, the data shows. That means the typical family is spending about $237,482 over the course of 18 years to raise a child — and that is excluding the cost of college.

However, new research published by SmartAsset suggests that the problem is even worse in some states. 


Here is a closer look at the most expensive places to raise a child.

A view of the Boston skyline. (Ron Dahlquist/Design Pics Editorial/Universal Images Group via Getty Images) / Getty Images)

1. Massachusetts

Raising a child in Massachusetts costs an estimated $35,841 a year – the most expensive state in the country and nearly double the national average. More than half of that cost is attributed to child case expenses, which came in at $21,503 – the highest among any state. Other expenses include about $5,000 for housing and $2,190 for food. 

In fact, raising a child up to the age of 18 costs about $439,000 more in Massachusetts than it does in Mississippi, which is the least expensive state to raise a child. 

2. Hawaii 

The annual cost of raising a child in Hawaii is $35,049, which includes about $19,500 for child care. One of the largest expenses in the Aloha State is housing, according to the study. Adding a child to a two-family household costs an additional $6,188 per year. By comparison, that adds about $4,983 in Massachusetts.

The entire coastline of Honolulu, Hawaii

The entire coastline of Honolulu, Hawaii. (iStock / iStock)


3. Connecticut 

Connecticut ranks as the third most expensive state to raise a child, coming in at $32,803. That includes about $19,554 per year for child care, as well as an additional $4,139 in housing expenses and $2,100 for groceries.

4. Colorado

The cost of raising a child in Colorado is about $30,425 per year, the fourth most expensive in the nation. Child care in Colorado comes in around $30,425, while food costs about $2,000 and housing costs roughly $4,100. 

5. New York

Manhattan skyline

The sun sets on the skyline of midtown Manhattan, the Empire State Building and Hudson Yards in New York City on December 17, 2022, as seen from Jersey City, New Jersey.  (Gary Hershorn/Getty Images / Getty Images)

New York is the fifth-most expensive state to raise a child, with the annual cost coming in at $29,468. Child care alone costs parents about $17,821 annually. Housing adds about $3,543 to the total, while groceries account for $2,100. 


Least expensive states 

It is notably cheaper to raise children in a handful of Southern states. 

Mississippi ranked as the least expensive, coming in with a total cost of $16,151. That is followed by Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky and Alabama.

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