Child Poverty Action Group’s annual cost of a child report looks at how much it costs families to provide a minimum socially acceptable standard of living for their children. Since 2012, this report series has systematically monitored the minimum cost of a child. This report updates those calculations for 2021 and outlines the factors affecting the latest figures.
The total cost of raising a child to the age of 18 now stands at £160,692 for a couple and £193,801 for a lone parent.
We can see that the total cost of raising a child is the highest it has been since calculations started in 2012. Since 2012, the total cost has risen by 13 per cent for couples and 25 per cent for lone parents. The rise in the last year has been particularly large – 3.6 per cent for couples and 3.3 per cent for lone parents.
The key driver in the rising cost of a child is higher prices (inflation) as opposed to a change in the basket of goods needed to raise a child. From 2014 to 2020 inflation was fairly low - the Consumer Price Index (CPI) averaged 1.4 per cent. But in 2021 inflation has risen sharply.