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The cost of raising kids

SmartCompany /

New figures from the University of Canberra show the average family will spend $537,000 on raising their two children to age 21. A high income family will spend $759,400.

Rising incomes and cheaper imports have meant that children have been eating up roughly the same portion of their parents’ income over the past five years – 23%.

Researchers from the University of Canberra’s National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (Natsem) found that as children aged they got more expensive, costing an average $384 a week from ages 18 to 24, compared to $144 a week when they were born.

The big difference in spending between the middle income and high income earners is education.

While a low-income family spends $19,200 on a government education and child care, a middle-income family spends $49,000 and a high-income family $161,000, most likely on private schooling.

“We find all the way through this that those who could afford to spend more do,” Professor Anne Harding from Natsem said.

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