The Priciest Places to Raise Children

Children running through backyard

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Raising children isn’t cheap: The basic costs for raising a child in the U.S. is $20,152 annually, according to research from LendingTree. But that total can run much higher in some states.

For example, parents will pay the most in the country to raise a child in the District of Columbia, with basic annual expenses (including day care) about $28,785. Hawaii and Maryland follow at $25,828 and $25,156, respectively. Meanwhile, raising a child may be most affordable in Mississippi, which had the lowest average costs in the country at $13,596.

LendingTree researchers factored in housing, food, day care, clothing, transportation, and health insurance for the study. They found that the average essential costs to raising a child has climbed nearly 26% between 2014 and 2019.