According to social researcher Mark McCrindle, the cost of raising children in a Australia today is higher than ever. So far, no surprises. What may surprise you is the actual bottom line of that cost: $1,000,028.93 for the average family.
Take a deep breath.
“We use different methodologies to arrive at that figure,” says McCrindle. “We look at the estimated costs supplied by the Government’s Child Support Agency, and then we take the social factors into consideration. “
McCrindle believes that the $384,543 that the Federal Government allows for raising one child to the age of 18 is woefully out of date and inadequate. “It only takes into consideration the hard costs,” he says. “It’s not wholistic.”
So McCrindle and his team went back to the drawing board, considering the consumption of children. “We looked at their proportion of utilities, costs of clothing, feeding…but we also looked at social trends,” he says. “We found that in the December 2010 Australia Bureau of Statistics report on social trends, children are financially dependent on their parents until 24 in Australia. Those who leave home in their early 20s will often return home again.”
So the team assessed the cost of raising 2.7 children (the national average) to the age of 24. Without including private school fees. And came up with the million dollar figure above.
“If it drops to one child, it’s still $557,013,” he says. “One child is proportionately more expensive than two, due to economies of scale.”