Average cost of raising a child in Britain rises to £230,000

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The average cost of raising a child has risen by almost £2,000 over the last year to around £230,000, according to a think-tank.

The new figures, compiled by the Centre of Economic and Business Research (CEBR), show the cost of bringing up a child to 21 years old has increased by 63% since 2003, when the index was first calculated.

The increase means the price of having children has risen 50% faster than inflation over that period.

Parents on average spend £74,319 on education over the whole of a child’s upbringing – a figure which includes costs like uniforms, school lunches, and university fees. Private school fees were not included in the index.

Most families also faced a huge bill for childcare, with an average bill per child of £67,500 over the 21-year period.

Out of all the costs examined by the report, only clothing has become cheaper over the last decade or more. Other costs examined include pocket money, toys, and holidays.

The figures were compiled by the think-tank on behalf of the insurer LV=.

“Having children has never been more expensive and, with costs such as childcare and education continuing to rise, for many families across the UK this is set to remain a pressure point,” said Myles Rix, managing director at the insurance company.

London-based families spent the most on childcare but paid a smaller proportion of their income overall because of higher salaries in the capital.

Last year research from the Child Poverty Action Group and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that the costs involved in raising children are increasing far faster than wages, leaving many parents struggling.

That report found the cost of raising a child was £164.19 a week, while lone parents had to pay more at £184.50 a week due to higher childcare costs.

At the time of that report’s release, Donald Hirsch, director of the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University, said:

“This evidence shows unequivocally that families have found it progressively harder to make ends meet.

“The forecast increase in wages in the next few years should help, but may not reverse this trend for the worst-off working families. This is because the support they get from the state will continue to decline in real terms.”

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