Government figures put the total cost of raising a child at $279,000, but some increasingly common expenses can send the number soaring over $1 million.
Is it any wonder that birthrates are low? And this feeds on itself -- when people have fewer kids, they spend more, which encourages more spending and makes it more expensive to have kids, encouraging people to have fewer, on which they spend more . . . .
Add to this the increased social costs in terms of higher parenting standards -- which are mostly a matter of parental competitiveness and guilt, rather than the kids' actual needs -- and we're in an unfortunate spiral. More on that topic here.