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The Most (and Least) Expensive States To Have a Child

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It’s no surprise to parents that having a kid is expensive — and knowing the answer to “How much does it cost to raise a child to 18?” is something that expecting parents, and anyone who wants to have or adopt a child in the future should be aware of. A recent study conducted by ChildCare Aware of America found that the annual cost of child care alone is typically $10,000 — and that’s far from the only financial burden parents must shoulder.

But the cost to raise a child will vary from state to state. To find out the most and least expensive states to have a child, GOBankingRates found the average costs of housing, healthcare, groceries, kids’ clothing and baby apparel for a family of three in every state, as well as the costs of child care, childbirth and in-state public tuition. Montana and South Dakota were excluded from the rankings due to insufficient data. From least expensive to most, here’s a look at which states are the best and worst to raise a family.

Last updated: April 25, 2019

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48. Mississippi

  • Day care (infant): $5,307
  • Day care (4-year-old): $4,670
  • Housing: $9,922
  • Healthcare: $5,054
  • Groceries: $4,685
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $108
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $134

The average cost of raising a child is lower in Mississippi than any other state. Mississippi has the lowest average day care costs for both infants and toddlers, and the lowest average housing costs and grocery costs for a family of three. The Magnolia State also has the sixth-lowest average healthcare costs for a family of three, and it has the ninth-most affordable children’s apparel.

Another plus: The average cost of vaginal delivery in Mississippi is $5,605, the eighth-lowest cost of all the states.

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47. Arkansas

  • Day care (infant): $6,726
  • Day care (4-year-old): $5,348
  • Housing: $10,707
  • Healthcare: $4,749
  • Groceries: $4,947
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $105
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $130

Arkansas has the fifth-lowest average infant day care costs, as well as the third-lowest average day care costs for a 4-year-old. It’s also the fifth-most affordable state for housing for a family of three, and it has the lowest average healthcare costs. Another plus — Arkansas has the fourth-lowest costs for kids’ clothes of all the states.

In addition to having low costs associated with raising children, it’s also one of the least expensive places to actually have a child. The average cost of a vaginal delivery in Arkansas is $5,600, the seventh-lowest amount of all the states, and the average cost of a C-section is $8,037, the third-lowest amount of all the states.

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46. Alabama

  • Day care (infant): $5,858
  • Day care (4-year-old): $5,061
  • Housing: $10,146
  • Healthcare: $4,860
  • Groceries: $4,972
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $110
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $136

Alabama has the third-lowest average infant day care costs, the second-lowest average day care costs for 4-year-olds and the second-lowest average housing costs and healthcare costs for a family of three.

It’s also the state with the lowest cost for having a baby. The average cost of a vaginal delivery here is $5,017, and the average cost of a C-section is $7,730.

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45. Kentucky

  • Day care (infant): $6,258
  • Day care (4-year-old): $6,258
  • Housing: $11,337
  • Healthcare: $5,026
  • Groceries: $5,095
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $102
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $126

Kentucky has the fourth-lowest average infant day care cost, and the sixth-lowest average day care cost for a 4-year-old. It also has affordable healthcare with the fourth-lowest average cost for a family of three. In addition, Kentucky has the second-cheapest kids’ clothes.

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44. Michigan

  • Day care (infant): $10,603
  • Day care (4-year-old): $8,678
  • Housing: $10,931
  • Healthcare: $5,131
  • Groceries: $4,849
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $99
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $122

The average cost of housing for a family of three in Michigan is lower than in all but nine states, and it also has the ninth-lowest average healthcare costs and the 10th-lowest average grocery costs. It also has the cheapest kids’ clothes in the U.S.

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43. Oklahoma

  • Day care (infant): $8,372
  • Day care (4-year-old): $6,448
  • Housing: $10,454
  • Healthcare: $5,275
  • Groceries: $4,742
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $110
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $136

The average cost of infant day care in Oklahoma is the ninth lowest of all the states, and the average cost of day care for a 4-year-old is the eighth lowest. It’s also an affordable place for housing, with the fourth-lowest average housing cost for a family of three. In addition, Oklahoma has the second-lowest average grocery costs.

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42. Kansas

  • Day care (infant): $10,955
  • Day care (4-year-old): $8,589
  • Housing: $10,721
  • Healthcare: $5,335
  • Groceries: $4,803
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $107
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $133

Housing is a factor that makes Kansas one of the most affordable states to have a child — it has the sixth-lowest average housing costs for a family of three of all the states. The Sunflower State also has the fifth-lowest average grocery costs and the seventh-cheapest kids’ clothes. It’s also an affordable place to give birth — the average cost of childbirth via vaginal delivery in Kansas is $5,541, which is the fifth lowest of all the states.

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41. Tennessee

  • Day care (infant): $8,524
  • Day care (4-year-old): $7,290
  • Housing: $11,253
  • Healthcare: $4,866
  • Groceries: $4,824
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $108
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $133

Healthcare is affordable in Tennessee, which has the third-lowest average healthcare costs. It also has the seventh-lowest average grocery costs for a family of three of all the states and the eighth-most affordable kids’ apparel.

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40. Idaho

  • Day care (infant): $7,296
  • Day care (4-year-old): $6,300
  • Housing: $12,178
  • Healthcare: $5,540
  • Groceries: $5,023
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $107
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $132

Idaho’s average day care costs for infants and 4-year-olds are the seventh lowest of all the states, and it also has the sixth-most affordable kids’ clothes. Childbirth is also affordable in Idaho, with the average cost of vaginal delivery at $5,695 — the ninth-lowest average cost in the U.S. — and the average cost of a C-section at $8,341 — the eighth-lowest average cost in the U.S.

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39. Louisiana

  • Day care (infant): $5,825
  • Day care (4-year-old): $5,825
  • Housing: $12,164
  • Healthcare: $5,247
  • Groceries: $4,972
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $115
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $143

Infant child care is the second cheapest in Louisiana compared with all the other states, and its child care costs for a 4-year-old are the fourth cheapest. Louisiana is also one of the least expensive states to give birth, with the sixth-lowest average price for a vaginal delivery — $5,590 — and the second-lowest average price for a C-section — $7,985.

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38. Texas

  • Day care (infant): $9,102
  • Day care (4-year-old): $6,994
  • Housing: $11,814
  • Healthcare: $5,264
  • Groceries: $4,818
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $103
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $128

Texas has affordable child care, with the 10th-lowest average cost for day care for a 4-year-old of all the states. It also has the sixth-lowest average healthcare costs for a family of three, and it has the third-most affordable kids’ clothing.

One thing that is less affordable is childbirth. The average cost of vaginal delivery in Texas is $7,349, which is the 10th-highest cost of all the states, and the average cost of a C-section is $10,576, which is the ninth-highest cost of all the states.

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37. Missouri

  • Day care (infant): $9,802
  • Day care (4-year-old): $6,847
  • Housing: $10,300
  • Healthcare: $5,418
  • Groceries: $4,767
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $113
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $139

The average day care cost for a 4-year-old in Missouri is the ninth lowest of all the states, and the Show-Me State also has the third-lowest average housing costs and the fourth-lowest average grocery costs for a family of three.

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36. Iowa

  • Day care (infant): $10,131
  • Day care (4-year-old): $8,428
  • Housing: $11,253
  • Healthcare: $5,369
  • Groceries: $4,890
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $111
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $137

In addition to the costs listed above, parents in Iowa should also factor in the cost of baby apparel — $124 — and the cost of tuition for in-state public college — $5,893.

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35. West Virginia

  • Day care (infant): $8,528
  • Day care (4-year-old): $7,462
  • Housing: $12,416
  • Healthcare: $5,065
  • Groceries: $5,285
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $110
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $136

With the seventh-lowest average healthcare costs for a family of three, West Virginia is one of the least expensive states to have a child.

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34. Georgia

  • Day care (infant): $8,327
  • Day care (4-year-old): $7,132
  • Housing: $10,763
  • Healthcare: $5,358
  • Groceries: $5,008
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $114
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $140

The average cost of infant day care and the average cost of housing for a family of three in Georgia are both the eighth lowest of all the states.

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33. Nebraska

  • Day care (infant): $12,272
  • Day care (4-year-old): $11,148
  • Housing: $12,388
  • Healthcare: $5,468
  • Groceries: $4,849
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $109
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $135

Although Nebraska is one of the least expensive states to have a child, the average cost to put a 4-year-old in day care there is the eighth highest of all the states. But groceries are affordable — the state has the ninth-lowest average grocery costs for a family of three — as are kids’ clothes compared with costs in other states. It’s also the fourth-most affordable place to give birth vaginally, with the average cost of vaginal delivery at $5,432, and the 10th-most affordable place to give birth via C-section, with the average cost of the procedure at $8,373.

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32. New Mexico

  • Day care (infant): $8,412
  • Day care (4-year-old): $7,428
  • Housing: $11,786
  • Healthcare: $5,651
  • Groceries: $4,829
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $120
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $148

New Mexico’s infant day care is the 10th cheapest of all the states, and it also has the eighth-lowest average grocery costs for a family of three.

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31. Wyoming

  • Day care (infant): $10,394
  • Day care (4-year-old): $8,795
  • Housing: $11,183
  • Healthcare: $5,225
  • Groceries: $4,767
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $118
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $145

Wyoming is among the least expensive states to have a child, with the 10th-lowest average costs for healthcare and the third-lowest average costs for groceries for a family of three.

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30. Ohio

  • Day care (infant): $9,446
  • Day care (4-year-old): $7,707
  • Housing: $10,819
  • Healthcare: $5,313
  • Groceries: $5,167
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $114
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $141

Ohio offers affordable housing for families, with the ninth-lowest average cost of housing for a family of three. It’s also an affordable place to give birth, with the ninth-lowest average cost of a C-section — $8,371.

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29. Indiana

  • Day care (infant): $12,312
  • Day care (4-year-old): $9,330
  • Housing: $10,749
  • Healthcare: $5,264
  • Groceries: $4,952
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $106
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $131

The average housing costs for a family of three in Indiana are the seventh lowest of all the states. The Hoosier State also has the fifth-most affordable children’s apparel.

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28. Utah

  • Day care (infant): $9,708
  • Day care (4-year-old): $7,464
  • Housing: $13,313
  • Healthcare: $5,352
  • Groceries: $5,116
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $116
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $143

The average price for vaginal delivery in Utah is $5,357, which is the second-lowest cost in the country, and the average price for a C-section is $8,226, which is the fifth lowest.

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27. Arizona

  • Day care (infant): $10,687
  • Day care (4-year-old): $8,344
  • Housing: $13,397
  • Healthcare: $5,297
  • Groceries: $4,859
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $115
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $141

Arizona is one of the more affordable states to raise a child, especially when it comes to paying for college. Arizona’s in-state tuition is the eighth lowest in the U.S. at $4,553.

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26. North Carolina

  • Day care (infant): $9,254
  • Day care (4-year-old): $7,920
  • Housing: $11,632
  • Healthcare: $5,944
  • Groceries: $5,152
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $110
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $136

North Carolina has the third-lowest tuition cost for an in-state public college — $3,343. The Southern state also has relatively affordable clothes for kids and babies, with the average apparel costs for children under 2 at $124.

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25. South Carolina

  • Day care (infant): $6,840
  • Day care (4-year-old): $5,863
  • Housing: $12,248
  • Healthcare: $5,584
  • Groceries: $5,367
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $117
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $145

Although South Carolina falls toward the middle of the ranking, it does offer affordable child care, with the sixth-lowest average infant day care cost and the fifth-lowest average day care cost for a 4-year-old.

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24. Florida

  • Day care (infant): $9,018
  • Day care (4-year-old): $7,109
  • Housing: $13,467
  • Healthcare: $5,280
  • Groceries: $5,034
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $122
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $151

The costs to raise a child in Florida are in the middle compared with other states, but it’s one of the priciest states to give birth. The average cost of vaginal delivery in the Sunshine State is $7,800 and the average cost of a C-section is $10,926, which are both the sixth-highest costs overall.

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23. Illinois

  • Day care (infant): $13,474
  • Day care (4-year-old): $10,125
  • Housing: $12,360
  • Healthcare: $5,546
  • Groceries: $5,054
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $112
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $138

The average cost of infant day care in Illinois is the 10th highest of all the states. The average cost of vaginal delivery is the ninth highest — $7,526 — and the average cost of a C-section is the seventh highest — $10,737.

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22. North Dakota

  • Day care (infant): $8,875
  • Day care (4-year-old): $8,025
  • Housing: $13,229
  • Healthcare: $6,181
  • Groceries: $5,059
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $121
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $149

North Dakota has the ninth-highest average healthcare costs for a family of three.

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21. Pennsylvania

  • Day care (infant): $11,560
  • Day care (4-year-old): $9,540
  • Housing: $13,047
  • Healthcare: $5,103
  • Groceries: $5,070
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $115
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $143

Overall, Pennsylvania is one of the more expensive states to have a child, but its average cost for healthcare for a family of three is the eighth lowest in the U.S.

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20. Virginia

  • Day care (infant): $13,728
  • Day care (4-year-old): $10,608
  • Housing: $15,682
  • Healthcare: $5,551
  • Groceries: $5,141
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $111
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $137

Child care is particularly pricey in this state. The average cost of infant day care in Virginia is the ninth highest of all the states, and the average cost for day care for a 4-year-old is the 10th highest.

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19. Wisconsin

  • Day care (infant): $12,268
  • Day care (4-year-old): $9,954
  • Housing: $12,444
  • Healthcare: $6,242
  • Groceries: $5,008
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $111
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $137

When it comes to healthcare for a family of three, Wisconsin is one of the most expensive states, with the eighth-highest costs on average. And childbirth itself is expensive, too. The average cost of a vaginal delivery in Wisconsin is $8,314 and the average cost of a C-section is $11,640, which are both the fourth-highest average costs of all the states.

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18. Colorado

  • Day care (infant): $14,960
  • Day care (4-year-old): $12,095
  • Housing: $16,915
  • Healthcare: $5,651
  • Groceries: $5,136
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $116
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $143

The average cost of infant day care in Colorado is higher than in all but six states, and the cost of day care for a 4-year-old is higher than in all but two states.

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17. Nevada

  • Day care (infant): $11,137
  • Day care (4-year-old): $8,835
  • Housing: $16,705
  • Healthcare: $5,938
  • Groceries: $5,295
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $126
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $155

Buying children’s clothes can burn a hole in your wallet in Nevada, which has the 10th-priciest kids’ apparel of all the states.

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16. Delaware

  • Day care (infant): $10,759
  • Day care (4-year-old): $8,665
  • Housing: $14,210
  • Healthcare: $5,490
  • Groceries: $5,741
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $124
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $153

Delaware’s average grocery costs for a family of three are the 10th highest of all the states.

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15. Maryland

  • Day care (infant): $14,970
  • Day care (4-year-old): $10,010
  • Housing: $26,613
  • Healthcare: $5,037
  • Groceries: $5,587
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $124
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $153

Maryland’s average infant day care cost is the sixth highest of all the states, and its average housing cost for a family of three is the fourth highest. On the plus side, it has the fifth-lowest average healthcare costs for a family of three of all the states.

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14. Minnesota

  • Day care (infant): $15,704
  • Day care (4-year-old): $11,960
  • Housing: $12,529
  • Healthcare: $6,159
  • Groceries: $5,592
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $123
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $151

Minnesota’s average cost for infant day care is the third highest, and the average cost for day care for a 4-year-old is the fifth highest. The Midwestern state also has the 10th-highest average healthcare costs for a family of three.

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13. Washington

  • Day care (infant): $14,208
  • Day care (4-year-old): $10,788
  • Housing: $16,032
  • Healthcare: $6,580
  • Groceries: $5,557
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $124
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $154

Washington’s average cost of infant day care is the eighth highest of all the states, and its average cost of day care for a 4-year-old is the ninth highest. The Pacific Northwest state also has the third-highest average healthcare costs for a family of three.

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12. Maine

  • Day care (infant): $10,043
  • Day care (4-year-old): $8,776
  • Housing: $17,573
  • Healthcare: $6,447
  • Groceries: $6,033
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $126
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $156

Expensive healthcare — Maine has the sixth-highest average costs for a family of three — makes this state one of the least affordable for raising a child. In addition, it also has the fifth-highest average grocery costs and the eighth-most expensive kids’ apparel.

Although Maine has high costs for raising a child, it’s one of the most affordable places to have a C-section birth. The average cost is $8,182, which is the fourth-lowest cost of all the states.

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11. Vermont

  • Day care (infant): $12,507
  • Day care (4-year-old): $11,438
  • Housing: $20,194
  • Healthcare: $5,678
  • Groceries: $5,423
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $124
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $154

Only five states have an average day care cost for 4-year-olds that is higher than Vermont’s. The state also has the ninth-highest average housing costs for a family of three.

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10. New Hampshire

  • Day care (infant): $12,487
  • Day care (4-year-old): $10,102
  • Housing: $14,981
  • Healthcare: $6,474
  • Groceries: $5,854
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $119
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $147

The average cost for healthcare for a family of three is the fifth highest compared with the other states. The state also has the seventh-highest average grocery costs.

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9. Rhode Island

  • Day care (infant): $13,370
  • Day care (4-year-old): $10,433
  • Housing: $19,914
  • Healthcare: $6,137
  • Groceries: $6,054
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $126
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $155

With the 10th-highest average housing costs, the fourth-highest average grocery costs and the ninth-highest kids’ apparel costs, Rhode Island is one of the least affordable states to have a child.

However, it’s one of the most affordable states to give birth. The average cost of vaginal delivery in Rhode Island is $5,401, which is the third-least expensive of all the states, and the average cost of a C-section is $8,337, which is the seventh-least expensive.

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8. Oregon

  • Day care (infant): $13,292
  • Day care (4-year-old): $9,822
  • Housing: $25,534
  • Healthcare: $6,148
  • Groceries: $5,787
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $129
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $160

The average housing costs for a family of three in Oregon are the fifth highest in the U.S., and the average grocery costs are the eighth highest. The Beaver State also has the fifth-most expensive kids’ apparel.

See: States That Spend the Most and Least on Groceries

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7. New Jersey

  • Day care (infant): $12,679
  • Day care (4-year-old): $10,597
  • Housing: $21,722
  • Healthcare: $5,811
  • Groceries: $5,685
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $121
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $150

It’s housing that makes New Jersey one of the least affordable states to have children, with the eighth-highest average housing costs. It’s also an expensive place to give birth, with the average cost for vaginal delivery at $9,302 and the average cost for a C-section at $13,300 — both the second-highest average costs in the U.S.

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6. California

  • Day care (infant): $16,542
  • Day care (4-year-old): $11,202
  • Housing: $27,481
  • Healthcare: $6,126
  • Groceries: $5,700
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $134
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $166

The average cost for infant day care in California is the second highest of all the states, and its average cost for day care for a 4-year-old is the seventh highest. Housing doesn’t come cheap, either: The Golden State has the third-highest average housing costs. Clothes can also take a chunk out of your funds, as California has the third-most expensive kids’ clothes.

It’s also the eighth-most expensive state to give birth for both vaginal deliveries and C-sections, with the average costs at $7,626 and $10,675, respectively.

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5. New York

  • Day care (infant): $15,028
  • Day care (4-year-old): $12,064
  • Housing: $27,622
  • Healthcare: $5,745
  • Groceries: $5,777
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $127
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $157

New York’s average infant day care cost is the fifth highest of all the states, and the average cost for day care for a 4-year-old is the fourth highest. It’s also an expensive place for housing, with the second-highest average cost for housing for a family of three. And groceries are expensive, too, with the ninth-highest average grocery costs. Parents won’t get a break on clothes, either: New York has the seventh-most expensive kids’ apparel.

Another expense that should be factored in is childbirth. The average cost for vaginal delivery in New York is $8,936 and the average cost for a C-section is $11,887, both the third-highest amounts of all the states.

James Kirkikis / Shutterstock.com

4. Connecticut

  • Day care (infant): $15,132
  • Day care (4-year-old): $12,428
  • Housing: $21,778
  • Healthcare: $6,568
  • Groceries: $6,228
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $128
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $158

With the fourth-highest average infant day care costs, the second-highest average day care costs for 4-year-olds, the sixth-highest kids’ apparel costs, the seventh-highest average housing costs, the fourth-highest average healthcare costs and the second-highest average grocery costs for a family of three, Connecticut is one of the most expensive states to have a child.

It’s also one of the most expensive states to give birth, with the fifth-highest average costs for a vaginal delivery and for a C-section: $8,102 and $11,208, respectively.

Kirkikis / Getty Images

3. Massachusetts

  • Day care (infant): $20,415
  • Day care (4-year-old): $14,736
  • Housing: $24,440
  • Healthcare: $6,679
  • Groceries: $6,172
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $131
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $162

The average cost to put an infant or 4-year-old in day care is higher in Massachusetts than in any other state. The New England state also has the sixth-highest average housing costs, the second-highest average healthcare costs and the third-highest average grocery costs for a family of three — and it has the fourth-most expensive kids’ clothes.

It’s also the seventh-most expensive state when it comes to paying for a vaginal delivery, with the average cost at $7,767, and the 10th-most expensive state to have a C-section, with the average cost at $10,534.

lippyjr / Getty Images

2. Alaska

  • Day care (infant): $11,832
  • Day care (4-year-old): $9,847
  • Housing: $19,353
  • Healthcare: $8,089
  • Groceries: $5,997
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $160
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $197

Alaska has the highest average costs of healthcare for a family of three in the U.S., and it also has the sixth-highest average grocery costs. And kids’ clothes will also set you back more in Alaska than in most other states — it has the second-most expensive boys’ and girls’ apparel.

Another major expense is the actual childbirth, with the average cost of vaginal delivery at $10,413 and the average cost of a C-section at $14,528 — both the highest in the U.S.

bennymarty / Getty Images

1. Hawaii

  • Day care (infant): $13,404
  • Day care (4-year-old): $8,724
  • Housing: $43,584
  • Healthcare: $6,430
  • Groceries: $6,366
  • Apparel costs for boys, ages 2 to 15: $191
  • Apparel costs for girls, ages 2 to 15: $236

Hawaii has the highest average cost to raise a child in the U.S. The average cost of housing for a family of three in Hawaii is by far the highest of all the states — it’s nearly $20,000 more than the average cost in New York, which has the second-highest average cost. The Aloha State also has the seventh-highest average cost of healthcare and the highest average grocery costs for a family of three. And clothes are also pricey — Hawaii has the most expensive kids’ clothes in the country.

One thing that actually is relatively affordable in Hawaii is childbirth. The average cost of a vaginal delivery here is $5,743, which is the 10th lowest of all the states, and the average cost of a C-section is $8,265, which is the sixth lowest.

How to Afford Being a Parent No Matter Where You Live

How much do kids cost? As you can see, that really depends on where you raise them. Child care and housing are the biggest expenses no matter where you live, so keep these costs in mind when planning where to raise a family. Ideally, you’d have enough left over after paying for the day-to-day costs of having a child to save money for college, as tuition costs continue to rise.

The states with the highest costs of having a child are the two noncontiguous states, and many of the other top 10 most expensive states are located in the Northeast: Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Vermont. Oregon is the outlier among the top 10.

Most of the 10 least expensive states to raise kids are clustered in the South: Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Louisiana. The remainder are located in the Midwest — Michigan and Kansas — and the West — Idaho.

Keep reading to find out the average cost of education in every state.

More From GOBankingRates

Methodology: GOBankingRates analyzed all 50 states to find the most and least expensive states to have a child. GOBankingRates sourced cost of living indexes for groceries, housing, healthcare and miscellaneous from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center’s Cost of Living Data Series Annual Average 2018 data set. GOBankingRates then took these indexes and used them to calculate 1) cost of housing for a family of three, 2) healthcare costs for a family of three, 3) grocery costs for a family of three, 4) clothing costs for a family of three, and 5) baby apparel costs for a family of three. These five factors were sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Table 1400 from the 2017 Consumer Expenditure Survey. GOBankingRates also found the 6) national average cost of childbirth from FAIR Health and Money.com’s “Find Out How Much It Costs to Give Birth in Every State”2019 study. GOBankingRates found the 7) cost of child care from the ChildCare Aware of America 2018 state-by-state data. GOBankingRates included 8) cost of tuition for in-state public tuition sourced from the 2019 “Tuition, Fees, and College Costs by State” data set from College Tuition Compare. These eight factors were then scored, with the lower score being better, and combined to give the final ranking. Due to a lack of child care data, Montana and South Dakota were excluded from the final rankings.