Warning: the following figures may make your jaw drop.

Any parent can tell you it's not cheap to raise a kid from birth to adulthood.

But there's new research that counts all of those dollars, state by state, and shows what the average family is putting out on an annual basis — as well as over 18 years — to get the job done.

According to LendingTree, annual costs related to raising a small child spiked nationally by more than 19% over five years ending in 2021.

The business platform found that New Jersey is the ninth most expensive state for raising a child.


Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Tax Foundation, child care groups, and other sources, LendingTree found that it costs the average New Jersey family $25,390 per year to raise a kid.

The total takes into account costs related to housing, food, child care, apparel, transportation, and health insurance.

"What really does the most damage is just the cost of child care," Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at LendingTree, said of New Jersey. "You're talking about $17,000 a year — there's not a place in this country where that is not a significant amount of money to the average person."

Hawaii and Washington, D.C. were the only spots to register a yearly total higher than $30,000.

LendingTree went even further to determine a grand total for raising a kid until age 18, noting that different categories have different levels of impact over time (for example, child care may not be necessary after a kid's toddler years).

In New Jersey, the 18-year estimated cost is $230,042, according to the report.

"That doesn't factor in college. That can send that number much, much higher," Schulz said.

Folks in New Jersey are spending 17.4% of their income on these costs, the report says. In some states, the percentage is as high as 23%.

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