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Global: How much does it cost to raise a kid in Canada?

January 12, 2017 — 

As Global News reports:

A 2011 article that appeared in the Canadian publication MoneySense placed the estimate at $12,824 a year, which adds up to $243,656 over 18 years. Those numbers were then updated by the magazine in 2015 to reflect inflation. The monthly average rose to $13,366.

MoneySense‘s estimates were in stark contrast to those released by the Fraser Institute in 2013 which garnered much fanfare. The latter report, conducted by Christopher Sarlo, Fraser Institute senior fellow and economics professor at Nipissing University, averages the yearly costs of raising a child from $3,000 to $4,500. But experts have widely debunked his estimates.

“The problem with the Fraser Institute report is that important categories of cost were left out, like child care, shelter and transportation,” says Sid Frankel, an associate professor in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba. “As a result, it’s not surprising that it’s an estimate that many parents say is unrealistic. [Sarlo] says that transportation costs weren’t relevant because families make those decisions based on their individual lifestyles, but many have argued that having children largely impacts the kind of car you buy and if, in fact, you need to be a two-car household.”

…The fact that Canada isn’t able to come up with average yearly figures for raising a child urgently needs to be addressed, experts say.

“The lack of a comprehensive estimate, whether it’s by using a budgetary approach or a survey approach, is really problematic,” Frankel says. “A whole bunch of social policy decisions should be based on a standard budget. The variations across the country [between rural and urban areas] is a manageable problem. It’s a matter of having the will and finding the resources to do it.”

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