Thinking about having a kid? Here’s how much Canadians spend to raise one

Click to play video: 'Average cost of raising a child in Canada roughly $290K, new data reveals'
Average cost of raising a child in Canada roughly $290K, new data reveals
WATCH: Average cost of raising a child in Canada roughly $290K, new data reveals – Oct 4, 2023

With the cost of living running high, raising children is not cheap in Canada.

According to new data released by Statistics Canada on Sept. 29, a middle-income family with two parents and two children spends on average $293,000 to raise one kid till the age of 17.

For lower-income families earning less than $83,013 per year before tax, this spending comes down to roughly $238,190.

Higher-income families — making more than $135,970 gross yearly — would spend about $403,910 per child.

If the children live five more years in the family home from the age of 18 to 22, that would mean an additional $68,000 to $117,000 spent per kid, and that varies depending on the family size and how much they earn, StatCan said.

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The data is based on a survey of household spending for the years 2014 to 2017.

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It found that families spent almost a third of their income on housing, 20 per cent on transportation, 17 per cent on food and 14 per cent on child care and education.

New child-care measures that have cut daycare fees by at least 50 per cent have offered some relief to parents across the country.

The Liberal government earmarked $30 billion over five years in the 2021 budget to set up a long-promised national child-care program.

Under the agreements between the federal, provincial and territorial governments, fees will come down to $10 a day, on average, by 2026.

Even so, inflation, which rose to four per cent in August, a housing crisis and other financial pressures are leading some Canadians to think twice about having kids.

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Canada’s fertility rate has been declining over the past decade.

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In 2022, the number of babies born in Canada dropped to a 17-year-low, according to a StatCan report released last week.

The high cost of living has magnified the size of the drop in births, one expert told Global News in a previous interview.

“It’s very expensive to have children and right now, when everything is expensive, it’s very hard for young adults to be able to have the type of lifestyle that allows them to have children, which is contributing to delayed and forgone fertility,” said Kate Choi, an associate professor of sociology at Western University.

The cost of living has been on the rise over the last year and a half in Canada. The country’s annual inflation rate peaked at 8.1. per cent in June 2022. And while it’s been on a downward trend since, the latest reading shows inflation is still stuck above the Bank of Canada’s two per cent target.

For a single parent falling in the lower income bracket, it costs $231,260 to raise one of two children and $372,110 per kid in the middle to high-income group, StatCan data showed.

— with files from the Canadian Press and Global News’ Katherine Ward

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