Having a 3rd Kid is Cheaper Than You Think
I love having three sons, so I enjoyed this USA Today article, Hey Parents, the Third Kid’s A Bargain. Here is the lead:
In a tepid economy, people look to save money however they can. One strategy? Not having kids. After hitting a high of 4.3 million in 2007, U.S. births tumbled, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to about 4 million in 2010.
It makes sense. Each year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture produces a study calculating how much it costs to raise a child to age 18. In 2010, the price tag was $226,920 — curiously close to the U.S. median house price ($221,800). Given how vexing housing has been, families are understandably wary of adding similarly-priced babies to the mix.
But a closer look at these numbers shows that the real sticker shock happens when you have the first kid — something the vast majority of couples do. After that, the marginal costs decline considerably, to the point where the third kid — the one most families don’t have — is downright cheap. That’s good news for would-be bigger families because, despite vague talk of overpopulation as this planet crossed 7 billion inhabitants in October, Americans tend to undershoot, not overshoot, their preferred family size.