Estimated cost of raising a child, 2011

Raising children in Canada is an expensive proposition. The average cost of raising a child in Canada to age 18 in a typical two-child family is $243,660. This amounts to an average cost of $1,070 per month per child. This cost varies by the number of children in a family. The estimated per-child expenditure in lone-child families ($304,600) is 25% higher than in families with two children, while families with three or more children spend 22% less per child ($190,050).1

1Cornell C. (2011). “The real cost of raising a child.” Money Sense Magazine. -accessed on June 29, 2012.


Based on ratios developed for the U.S., it is estimated that the bottom third by income of couples with children spend about 28% less ($175,400) per child than the average household. The upper third by income of families with children spend almost 40% more ($404,500).1 In terms of child outcomes, higher income is almost always associated with better outcomes for children.2

1Cornell C. (2011). “The real cost of raising a child.” Money Sense Magazine. – accessed on June 29, 2012.
2Phipps S, Lethbridge L. (2006). “Income and the Outcomes of Children.” Statistics Canada. – accessed on June 29, 2012.

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