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The Most and Least Expensive Cities to Raise a Child

Updated: Aug 19, 2014 4:59 PM UTC

Having a child today will set you back close to a quarter million dollars by the time your offspring reaches 18, an annual study released Monday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found. A middle-income family can expect to shell out on average $245,340 (or $304,480, when adjusted for projected inflation), with the biggest chunk of the budget going to housing, followed by child care costs.

Of course, your bottom line could be very different depending on where you live. According to data from personal finance website NerdWallet, child-rearing costs can vary by more than $340,000, based on local housing market prices and the cost of daycare (which exceeds the cost of college in 31 states).

Families living in cities in more rural areas can expect to pay the least to raise a child to adulthood, but those living in the urban Northwest and on the West Coast should expect to pay far above the average.

Here are the cities where you'll pay the most and the least to rear your child.

Most Expensive Cities to Raise A Child

RankCityCost of raising a child
1New York (Manhattan), NY$540,514
2Honolulu, HI$429,635
3San Francisco, CA$402,112
4New York (Brooklyn), NY$400,951
5Hilo, HI$369,559
6San Jose, CA$363,807
7Orange County, CA$353,081
8Washington, DC$342,552
9Oakland, CA$337,477
10Fairbanks, AK$334,562

Least Expensive Cities to Raise a Child

RankCityCost of raising a child
1Norman, OK$199,298
2Harlingen, TX$199,694
3Ashland, OH$206,793
4Salina, KS$207,525
5Pueblo, CO$208,155
6Memphis, TN$208,322
7Temple, TX$208,593
8Richmond, IN$209,522
9Jackson, MS$211,309
10Hattiesburg, MS$211,451

Related: Why the $245,000 Cost of Raising a Child Shouldn't Stop You From Having One