Seattle ranks among most expensive in US to raise a child

Jun 5, 2023, 1:51 PM

seattle raise child...

Seattle ranks as one of the 50 most expensive cities to raise a child. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metro area ranks 34th in the United States in the cost to raise a child. The ranking may not seem that bad until you discover that 381 metro areas were studied.

“In the Seattle-Tacoma metro area, parents should be ready to spend around $25,000 on one child in a single year,” Smart Asset spokesperson Ray Marek told MyNorthwest. “Nearly half of that goes to childcare – which costs more than $11,500 per year.”

SmartAsset used MIT Living Wage Calculator data to compare the living costs of a household with two adults and one child to that of a childless household with two adults. The data is as of 2022.

“As the cost of raising a child continues to rise, it’s critical that parents understand what to expect so that they can better plan for their family’s financial future,” Marek said. “Our findings show parents can expect to pay a whopping $32,000 per year or more in areas of California and Massachusetts – the highest amounts in our study and significantly more than the nationwide average of around $20,800.”

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The costs included in the study are food, housing, childcare, healthcare, transportation, and other necessities within each metro area.

The breakdown in the Seattle-Tacoma area:

    • Annual cost of raising a child: $25,004
      • Childcare costs: $11,575
      • Food costs:
        • Food Costs for two adults, no child: $8,591
        • Food costs for two adults with one child: $10,702
        • Difference: $2,111
      • Medical costs:
        • Two adults, no child: $6,580
        • Two adults, one child: $9,046
        • Difference: $2,466
      • Housing costs:
        • Two adults, no child: $18,388
        • Two adults, one child: $22,988
        • Difference: $4,600
      • Transportation costs:
        • Two adults, no child: $9, 561
        • Two adults, one child: 11,691
        • Difference: $2,130
      • Civic costs:
        • Two adults, no child: $5,801
        • Two adults, one child: $6,480
        • Difference: $679
      • Other costs:
        • Two adults, no child: $8,020
        • Two adults, one child: $9,463
        • Difference: $1,443

When considering all the metro areas studied, the Bay Area leads the pack. In the San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley area, it costs $35,647 to raise a child for one year. A couple with one child spends $10,499 more on housing than childless couples. The median value of a home in this part of California is over $1 million.

Santa Cruz-Watsonsonville came in second. Raising a child costs an extra $33,877 per year in this metro area, which is located about 70 miles south of San Francisco.

Third is San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara. Parents with one child in the Santa Cruz-Watsonville area spend $12,636 more per year on housing than two adults with no children – the most across all 381 metro areas in our study.

If you are looking for the least expensive place to raise a child, Morristown, TN, Sumter, SC, and Jackson, TN, came in at the bottom of the 381 areas the survey measured. They averaged $14,841 to raise a child.


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Seattle ranks among most expensive in US to raise a child