Cost of living studies and reports in Florida of late have mostly focused on housing — for good reason. Finding a place to live, for many in a variety of fields, has gone from hard to heartache to hellish. That struggle, in turn, has a direct impact on the business community.
But another segment of expenses that shouldn’t be overlooked is the cost of having kids. And, according to a new analysis from data firm SmartAsset, that’s not cheap. When factoring in food, housing, child care, health care, transportation and other necessities, it costs an average of $20,813 annually nationwide when a two-adult household adds a child, the report found. (On the flip side, with a declining birth rate nationally, the costs of not having children, to society and in business, are also high.)
Child care, costing on average $9,051 a year nationwide, is the biggest expense when it comes to the overall aspect of taking care of another human being, according to the report. That accounts for nearly 50% of the annual cost of raising a child.
Bringing Up Baby
|Metro Area||Costs of Raising a Child||Child Care||Housing||Food|
|Cape Coral-Fort Myers||$21,126||$9,687|
The first Florida region to appear on the report is Naples-Marco Island, where the annual cost of raising a child, the report found, is $24,637. That’s No. 37 nationally. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton is next up for Florida areas, at No. 47. The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater region is No. 100, Punta Gorda is No. 108 and Cape Coral-Fort Myers is No. 145. Lakeland-Winter Haven is the least expensive metro area in the region, at an annual average cost of $19,272.
Some other interesting data points in the report, which looked at the cost metrics for raising one child in 381 metro areas across the country, include:
- Raising a child costs more than $33,000 annually, on average, in three California regions: San Francisco, Santa Cruz and San Jose. That’s a tick more than two Massachusetts regions, Barnstable Town and Boston, where it costs $32,000 a year, on average.
- Five of the 10 metro areas with where costs are lowest to raise a child are in South Carolina: Sumter, Columbia, Florence, Hilton Health Island-Bluffton and Spartanburg.
- The most affordable metro area is Morristown, Tennessee, outside Knoxville, where the average cost is $14,577 a year.
- Couples with one child spend an average of $3,407 more on housing than childless couples.