Today\’s churnalism: the cost of raising a child ain\’t £210,000

This is quite joyous.

So Liverpool Victoria (LVsomethingtrendyinnotnormaltypeface) puts out a cod report saying that the cost of raising a child is now £210,000.

They get credulous newspapers all over the country to repeat this, some, like the Guardian, even going so far as to link to the report.

Excellent, we\’ve now just raised the Google Page Rank of the LV site, done a little white hat work to make people more likely to see LV when they search for life insurance etc etc.

Sadly, of course, the result, the number, is entire codswallop.

Partly for the reasons listed here.

And partly because it entirely misses the largest cost of raising a child.

The loss of wages from doing so.

We know that there is a \”gender pay gap\” which actually turns out to be a \”mothers\’ pay gap\”. Whether it should or shouldn\’t be so, having children in this current society cuts your lifetime earnings.

Note \”lifetime\”, not just for some few years when the little bastard is still vomiting over titties (or even the two periods, extreme youth and university).

Mean wages are around £25,000 (close enough) the pay gap is 17%, that pay gap persists from primagravidae to retirement: on average, the former is 30 years old now and the latter will be 65 for women.

£150,000 or so.

That\’s the largest cost of having a child.

8 comments on “Today\’s churnalism: the cost of raising a child ain\’t £210,000

  1. I think there’s a risk of double-counting here though. The loss of earnings is presumably reduced if you go back to work sooner. However then you have to pay for childcare. The Mail figure, which I am sure is pure fantasy, must include a childcare element, I guess (for your comparision) the important bit is whether it is higher or lower (in hours) than the national average.

  2. “the largest cost of raising a child… The loss of wages from doing so. We know that there is a “gender pay gap” which actually turns out to be a “mothers’ pay gap”.”

    Correct.

    We can add that to other cash costs of having children (whatever they are, £10,000 a year seems very high if you exclude private education), but we can deduct from that all the money that you otherwise would spend on going to the pub, on holidays, hobbies etc if you didn’t have children (which is a large but completely unknown figure).

  3. Hang on; you’ve calculated the lower bound as £150k and then claim that that somehow disproves an estimate of £210k? I’d say that it gave the estimate pretty decent support. (Even if the estimate was in fact derived by methods mystical.)

  4. People who decide whether to have a family or not based on the cost, are sad gits who should get a life.

    Unless, of course, they’re living on benefits and expecting me to pay their bills.

  5. That would mean that my 7 cost me more money than I have made in my entire life. Yet here I am, with them almost all grown up and enough capital (I hope) to finance a comfortable retirement.

  6. Bill,

    Don’t worry – it’s just the opportunity cost. Stick it in the same mythical bag as the “losses to the British taxpayer from GMG not paying taxes at the Murphy approved rate” and enjoy spoiling your grandkids 🙂

  7. not just for some few years when the little bastard is still vomiting over titties (or even the two periods, extreme youth and university).

    Comedy gold…

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