The cost of an American child born in 2012 and raising over the next 17 years has increased by 2.6% from 2011, the US Department (USDA) has said. In its annual report, ‘Expenditures on Children by Families’, also known as the Cost of Raising a Child, data shows a middle-income family with a child born in 2012 can expect to spend about $241,080 ($301,970 adjusted for projected inflation) for food, shelter, and other necessities associated with child-rearing expenses over the next 17 years. Expenses for child care, education, health care, and clothing saw the largest percentage increases related to child rearing from 2011. However, there were smaller increases in housing, food, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses during the same period. The 2.6% increase from 2011 to 2012 is also lower than the average annual increase of 4.4% since 1960. USDA Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Under Secretary Kevin Concannon said, “As the economy continues to recover, families are naturally cost conscious. This report gives families with children a greater awareness of the expenses they are likely to face. The report is also a valuable resource for courts and state governments in determining child support guidelines and foster care payments.” The report, issued annually, is based on data from the Federal government’s Consumer Expenditure Survey, the most comprehensive source of information available on household expenditures. For the year 2012, annual child-rearing expenses per child for a middle-income, two-parent family ranged from $12,600 to $14,700, depending on the age of the child, the USDA said.