Costs of children

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Cost of a child: from cradle to college : 2014 report (PDF)
Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society, Centre of Economic and Business Research (London, England)
Bournemouth, England : LV=, 2014

According to the Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society, the total cost of raising a child in Great Britain is now 227,266 - an increase of 62% since 2003. This report series examines the different costs associated with raising a child, as well as the average cost in different areas of Great Britain and for different age groups. The report features calculations compiled by the Centre of Economic and Business Research (CEBR) and omnibus research with 2001 adults conducted by Opinium Research.

The impact of children on Australian couples' wealth accumulation (PDF)
Dockery M and Bawa S
Bentley, WA : Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, Curtin University, 2013.

Current approaches to estimating of the cost of raising children focus on what parents spend on their children - that is, seeing children as a cost. Instead, this paper proposes an alternative approach based on how the presence of children impacts upon a couple's wealth accumulation. Using estimates based on data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey, the paper shows that the 'cost' of children is far lower than traditionally estimated.

Affording the basics : report card 2013 (PDF)
Wise S
Melbourne : Anglicare Victoria, 2013.

This document provides a snapshot of how vulnerable people in Victoria are faring. It presents findings from Anglicare Victoria's 2013 Hardship Survey, which asks their emergency relief clients about deprivation and meeting their basic needs in comparison to the general population. Findings are displayed as infographics on such essentials as housing, warm clothing, food, heating, medical treatment, social inclusion, and children's needs.

Expenditures on children by families, 2012 (PDF)
Lino M
Alexandria, VA : Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 2013.

"Since 1960, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has provided estimates of expenditures on children from birth through age 17. This technical report presents the most recent estimates for husband-wife and single-parent families using data from the 2005-06 Consumer Expenditure Survey, updated to 2012 dollars using the Consumer Price Index. Data and methods used in calculating annual child-rearing expenses are described. Estimates are provided for major components of the budget by age of child, family income, and region of residence."--T.p. verso.

Spending patterns of couple families.
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Australian social trends July 2013. Belconnen, ACT : Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2013 ABS no. 4102.0 1321-1781

This chapter compares the different spending patterns of couple families at different life stages, including partnering, raising young children, living with adult children, and becoming an empty nest couple. It discusses income, wealth and finances, housing, and spending patterns on different categories. These patterns provide insight into the impact on household spending of changes such as having children, paying off a home mortgage, and retirement.

Cost of kids: the cost of raising children in Australia. (PDF)
Phillips B
Sydney : AMP Limited, 2013.

This is the third AMP.NATSEM report to look at the costs of raising children in Australia. It presents information current to December 2012, regarding the costs of children, the costs of children by age, the costs of additional children, government assistance, the impact of two parent incomes, and parent working hours. The findings show that the amount parents spend on their children varies with the age of the child and the family's income. Also, children cost more as they get older and families with higher incomes tend to spend more on their children. In conclusion, the report considers whether children are costing more today.

Cost of kids report (PDF)
Suncorp-Metway Ltd
Brisbane, Qld. : Suncorp Bank, 2012

This report looks at the weekly costs of raising children in Australia today. It presents estimates on the direct costs of food, clothing, personal care, health, bedroom furniture, communications, extra-curicular activities, education, transport, childcare, and savings, for the age groups of infants, toddlers, primary-school aged children, and teenagers.

Updated costs of raising children: September quarter 2012 (PDF)
Henman P
Brisbane, Qld. : Social Policy Unit, School of Social Work and Human Services, University of Queensland, 2012.

This paper provides up-to-date estimates of the costs of raising children in Australia. It discusses approaches to measuring the costs of raising children, how the research has been updated since previous studies, and components of the lifetime cost of a child estimate: housing, energy, food, clothing, household goods and services, child care, health, transport, leisure and personal care. It presents a table of results for each capital city in Australia and for two types of family - the first with two adults working full-time, with adequate living standards, and the second for one unemployed parent and one full-time carer, with low-cost living standards. Note, there is no fixed or absolute cost of a child. The cost of raising a child increases with household income, the cost of the first child is often greater than that for each subsequent child, and costs generally tend to increase with the age of the child.

How do pregnancy and newborns affect the household budget? [Reprint]
Brandrup J and Mance P
Journal of the Home Economics Institute of Australia v. 19 no. 1 2012: 2-11

For most families, the arrival of a newborn child marks a time of happiness and joy; however, it can also be a time of increased stress, some of which may be due to greater pressure on the family budget. The arrival of a newborn is also of key interest to policy makers, especially those seeking to assist families financially to successfully negotiate this important life cycle transition. Although a body of Australian research has examined the costs of raising children more generally, only these authors have specifically reported on how newborns affect household budgets. This article extends the authors' prior work using data from waves 6 to 8 of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey. The study focuses on partnered women aged between 15 and 47 years and their families. This gave a sample of 1,199 households, and included 411 births over the three-year period. Fixed effects linear regression models are used to estimate whether different categories of household expenditure are typically higher or lower when a newborn arrives. Measureable differences in expenditure patterns associated with the birth of a first-born, second-born or third- or subsequent-born child are discussed.

Expenditures on children by families, 2011 (PDF)
Lino M
Alexandria, VA : Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 2012.

"Since 1960, the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided estimates of annual expenditures on children from birth through age 17. This technical report presents the 2011 estimates for husband-wife and single-parent families ... Expenditures are provided by age of children, household income level, major budgetary component (housing, food, etc.), and region (for husband-wife families)."--Executive summary.

Expenditures on children by families, 2010 (PDF)
Lino M
Alexandria, VA : Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 2011.

"Since 1960, the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided estimates of annual expenditures on children from birth through age 17. This technical report presents the 2010 estimates for husband-wife and single-parent families ... Expenditures are provided by age of children, household income level, major budgetary component (housing, food, etc.), and region (for husband-wife families)."--Executive summary.

How do pregnancy and newborns affect the household budget?
Brandrup J and Mance P
Family Matters no. 88 2011: 31-41

For most families, the arrival of a newborn child marks a time of happiness and joy; however, it can also be a time of increased stress, some of which may be due to greater pressure on the family budget. The arrival of a newborn is also of key interest to policy makers, especially those seeking to assist families financially to successfully negotiate this important life cycle transition. Although a body of Australian research has examined the costs of raising children more generally, only these authors have specifically reported on how newborns affect household budgets. This article extends the authors' prior work using data from waves 6 to 8 of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey. The study focuses on partnered women aged between 15 and 47 years and their families. This gave a sample of 1,199 households, and included 411 births over the three-year period. Fixed effects linear regression models are used to estimate whether different categories of household expenditure are typically higher or lower when a newborn arrives. Measureable differences in expenditure patterns associated with the birth of a first-born, second-born or third- or subsequent-born child are discussed.

Cost of a child: from cradle to college : 2011 report (PDF)
Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society, Centre of Economic and Business Research (London, England)
Bournemouth, England : LV=, 2011.

According to the Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society, the cost of raising a child has risen by 50% in the last seven years, which is a higher increase than inflation alone. This publication examines the different costs associated with raising a child in Great Britain today, and compares it with the annual estimates from 2003 to 2010. It also looks at the average cost of raising a child in different areas of Great Britain, and for different age groups. This publication features calculations compiled by the Centre of Economic and Business Research (CEBR) and omnibus research with 527 parents conducted by Opinium Research.

Expenditures on children by families, 2009 (PDF)
Lino M
Alexandria, VA : Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 2010.

"Since 1960, the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided estimates of annual expenditures on children from birth through age 17. This technical report presents the 2009 estimates for husband-wife and single-parent families ... Expenditures are provided by age of children, household income level, major budgetary component (housing, food, etc.), and region (for husband-wife families)."--Executive summary.

Changes in household expenditure associated with the arrival of newborn children.
Brandrup J and Mance P
Australian Social Policy Journal 9781921647379 no. 9 2010: 41-66

An understanding of the changed financial circumstances of families with newborn children is important to a range of current policy debates, including those surrounding the provision of family assistance, women's attachment to the labour force and paid parental leave. Although there is a body of Australian research on the costs of raising children, in most cases this has been undertaken to enable the calculation of child support entitlement or to evaluate the effects of policy designed to reverse the effects of an ageing demographic. These studies do not report specifically on expenses associated with the arrival of newborn children. To address this gap in the evidence base, the current study investigates changes in household expenditure associated with the arrival of newborn children for three groups of families - those experiencing the arrival of their first, second, or third and subsequent-born children. Household spending items in Waves 6 and 7 (2006 and 2007) of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey are used to estimate whether different categories of expenditure typically increase or decrease for couple families with the arrival of newborn children. This study shows that a range of expenditure categories are influenced by the arrival of a new baby. Parents of first-born children increase expenditure on health care and clothing. Parents of second-born children increase expenditure on health care, and on meals eaten out and takeaway; however, they decrease expenditure on child care. Parents of third and subsequent-born children increase expenditure on health care.

Costs of children and equivalence scales : a review of methodological issues and Australian estimates. (PDF283KB)
Gray M and Stanton D
Australian Journal of Labour Economics v. 13 no. 1 2010: 99-115

Estimates of the costs of children are used in the design of a wide range of economic and social policies. This paper provides a review of the different approaches that have been used to define the costs of a child and the estimation methods used. The paper summarises the results of Australian estimates of the costs of children since 1985. An important conclusion is that there is no unambiguous 'true cost' of a child and that the estimated costs are sensitive to the estimation method used. One way of producing costs of children for policy purposes is to take the average of all available credible estimates. This approach is used in this paper.

Measuring the 'real' cost of children: a net wealth approach (PDF)
Dockery M
Perth : Centre for Labour Market Research, 2009.

This paper questions the basis upon which children are considered to be a 'cost'. It proposes an alternative method of estimating the cost of children: if children are a 'cost' then couples who have children should end up with lower net wealth than comparable couples without children or with fewer children. Using data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey, it models changes in married couples' wealth between 2002 and 2006, reviewing the number children they have, and taking into account the impact on parents' labour force participation.

Expenditures on children by families, 2008 (PDF)
Lino M and Carlson A
Alexandria, VA : Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 2009.

"Since 1960, the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided estimates of annual expenditures on children from birth through age 17. This technical report presents the 2008 estimates for husband-wife and single-parent families. Results are shown in tables 1-7 at the end of this report. Expenditures are provided by age of children, household income level, major budgetary component (housing, food, etc.), and region (for husband-wife families)."--Executive summary.

The measurement of child costs: a Rothbarth Type method consistent with scale economics (PDF)
Bargain O and Donni O
Bonn, Germany : IZA, 2009.

"We propose a new methodology to estimate the share of household income accruing to children (i.e., the cost of children). Following the principle of the Rothbarth approach, the identification of the children's share requires the observation of at least one adult-specific good. However, our method differs from this traditional approach in that it allows measuring economies of scale in the household and indifference scales in Lewbel (2003)'s sense. We illustrate the method with an application on the French Household Budget Survey."--Author abstract.

The measurement of child costs: evidence from Ireland (PDF)
Bargain O, Donni O and Gbakou M
Bonn, Germany : IZA, 2009.

"We apply an extension of the Rothbarth approach to estimate the share of household resources accruing to children (i.e., the cost of children) in Ireland. The method also allows us to identify the economies of scale in the household and indifference scales in Lewbel (2003)'s sense. A practical aspect of the present approach is that it does not require price variation. The identification of the children's share requires the observation of adult-specific goods as in the traditional Rothbarth method. We compare our findings to previous results for Ireland."--Author abstract.

Expenditures on children by families, 2007 (PDF)
Lino M
Alexandria, VA : Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 2008.

"Since 1960, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided estimates of expenditures on children from birth through age 17. This technical report presents the 2007 estimates for husband-wife and single-parent families ... For husband-wife families, estimates are for three income groups and for single-parent families, two income groups ... [E]stimates are also provided for husband-wife families in urban areas in four regions (West, Northeast, South, and Midwest) and for rural areas throughout the United States, as well as for the United States overall ... Expenditures on children are estimated for the major budgetary components: Housing, food, transportation, clothing, health care, child care and education, and miscellaneous goods and services."--Executive summary.

Honey, I calculated the kids-- : it's $537,000 : Australian child costs in 2007
Percival R, Payne A, Harding A and Abello A
Sydney : AMP Limited, 2007.

What did Australian children cost in 2007 and what do children cost over a lifetime? This report calculates the cost of raising children from birth until leaving home for three typical families - in low, middle and high income brackets. It looks at how the family unit is changing, the effect of children staying at home for longer, child care costs, education and other costs, how parents meet these costs, and whether children are costing more these days than in previous generations.

Costs of children : research commissioned by the Ministerial Taskforce on Child Support
Henman P, Percival R, Harding A and Gray M
Canberra : Dept. of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, 2007.

This volume brings together three reports of research commissioned by the Ministerial Task Force on Child Support on the costs of children in Australian families: 'The estimated costs of children in Australian families in 2005-06'; 'Updated costs of children using Australian budget standards'; and 'Costs of children and equivalence scales: a review of methodological issues and Australian estimates'. The first study used Household Expenditure Survey data to examine actual patterns of expenditure on children. In the second, the Budget Standards approach was used to assess how much parents would need to spend to give children a specific standard of living, taking account of differences in housing costs all over Australia. The third contains a review of Australian and international research on the costs of children, so that the outcomes of these studies could be compared with previous research findings.

Expenditures on children by families, 2006 (PDF)
Lino M
Alexandria, VA : Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 2007.

"Since 1960, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided estimates of expenditures on children from birth through age 17. This technical report presents the 2006 estimates for husband-wife and single-parent families ... For husband-wife families, estimates are for three income groups and for single-parent families, two income groups ... [E]stimates are also provided for husband-wife families in urban areas in four regions (West, Northeast, South, and Midwest) and for rural areas throughout the United States, as well as for the United States overall ... Expenditures on children are estimated for the major budgetary components: Housing, food, transportation, clothing, health care, child care and education, and miscellaneous goods and services."--Executive summary.

Using budget standards to estimate the costs of children: the case of Funan County.
Saunders P, Shang X and Li Z
Journal of Family Studies v. 13 no. 1 May - Jun 2007 57-71

This paper applies a budget standards approach to develop budgets for households with children living in rural China and uses them to estimate the costs of children. The budgets and the child cost estimates cover all areas of household spending and vary with household size and the age and number of children. The research was conducted in Funan County, Auhui Province, and has been guided and informed by local data and the advice, information, and feedback obtained from a series of focus group discussions with parents. Different methods have been used to set a lower bound on the costs of children that includes those items only consumed by children, and a comprehensive estimate that covers all costs incurred by the household. Even after adjusting the cost estimates to allow for home produced food, the cash costs of children far exceed existing income support benefits, suggesting that these benefits are not adequate to support the needs of orphaned children living in rural China.

Updated costs of raising children: March quarter 2006 (PDF898KB)
Henman P
Brisbane, Qld. : Social Policy Unit, School of Social Work and Applied Human Services, University of Queensland, 2006.

Findings from research on the costs of raising children in Australia at March 2006 are summarised. The report looks at approaches to measuring the costs of raising children, how the research was updated since previous studies, and components of the lifetime cost of a child estimate: housing, energy, food, clothing, household goods and services, child care, health, transport, leisure and personal care. The report presents results for each capital city in Australia for two family types.

Balancing work and family : report on the inquiry into balancing work and family
Bishop B
Canberra : Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, 2006.

Expenditures on children by families, 2005 (PDF)
Lino M
Alexandria, VA : Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 2006.

"Since 1960, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided estimates of expenditures on children from birth through age 17. This technical report presents the 2005 estimates for husband-wife and single-parent families ... For husband-wife families, estimates are for three income groups and for single-parent families, two income groups ... [E]stimates are also provided for husband-wife families in urban areas in four regions (West, Northeast, South, and Midwest) and for rural areas throughout the United States, as well as for the United States overall ... Expenditures on children are estimated for the major budgetary components: Housing, food, transportation, clothing, health care, child care and education, and miscellaneous goods and services."--Executive summary.

Child support.
Gray M
Smyth, Bruce, ed. Richardson, Nick, ed. Soriano, Grace, ed. Proceedings of the International Forum on Family Relationships in Transition : legislative, practical and policy responses, 1-2 December 2005. Melbourne : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2006. 0642395403: 46-51

The evidence base developed by the Ministerial Taskforce on Child Support in 2004 - 2005 is described. The research that was commissioned to fill gaps in the evidence base focused on attitudes to child support, costs of children in Australia, a comparison of selected overseas child support schemes, and a micro simulation model of existing and proposed child support schemes.

Measuring the cost of children: concepts and methodologies. (PDF473K)
Poland M and Seth-Purdie R
Wellington, NZ : Families Commission, 2005

The amount of time and money parents invest in children is known to have an impact on developmental outcomes for children. Child poverty is also correlated with some negative outcomes that persist into adulthood. The cost of children is therefore of importance in a number of policy areas. This report reviews concepts and methodologies for measuring the cost of children and discusses the use of different methods of estimation according to differing purposes. Its primary focus is on methodologies that estimate direct parental costs, as being most relevant to two areas of interest to the New Zealand Families Commission; that is, ensuring that family income is sufficient to maintain an adequate standard of living, and ensuring that the cost of children is fairly distributed among those receiving the benefits.

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