February 17, 2016

Raising a child in the UK now more expensive than buying a house, analysis shows

The cost of raising a child in the UK has risen to over £230,000, more than the cost of an average house, according to analysis by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) and insurance firm Liverpool Victoria.

The latest edition of the annual Cost of a Child report found that in the last year alone, the cost of raising a child to the age of 21 has risen by £2,500, and by over £13,000 in the last five years.

The most expensive period in a child’s upbringing is between the ages of one and four, with childcare and babysitting expenses accounting for 30% of the total cost. Childcare saw the sharpest increase over the last year (4.3%), making it the second biggest expense after education.

Overall, costs have risen by 65% since the report was first published in 2003. Costs associated with children’s education have seen the largest increase, at 128%.

Olivier Donni has written for IZA World of Labor about measuring the cost of children, which he argues is critical for determining many economic policies. He writes that: “Evaluating child poverty at the individual level requires making a clear distinction between the share of family resources received by children and that received by parents. The standard ad hoc measures (equivalence scales) used in official publications to measure the cost of children are arbitrary and are not informed by any economic theory. However, economists have developed methods that are grounded in economic theory and can replace ad hoc measures.”

The 2016 Cost of a Child report can be found here.

Related articles:
Measuring the cost of children by Olivier Donni
Find more IZA World of Labor articles about family