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Last Updated: Friday, 21 November, 2003, 11:00 GMT
High cost of bringing up baby
Children and a house
Bringing up a child and an average home cost about the same

Raising a child now costs more than the average UK house according to new research from Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society.

From birth to leaving university at age 21 it costs parents 140,398 to feed, clothe and school their children.

This compares to the 137,800 cost of an average home according to the most recent Halifax house price survey.

The truth is we cannot afford anymore children, and yes that is clothing him in second hand clothes.
Juliette, UK

UK parents are the top spenders in Europe and are the most likely to splash out on toys and holidays.

Escalating cost

In fact it costs parents nearly a third more to bring up a child in the UK than in Spain and France.

Italian parents spend the most on basics such as clothes and food but UK parents spend far more on luxuries for their children.

Costs are highest for UK parents in the first five years of their child's life when a staggering 46,695 is spent.

How costs break down
Year 1-5 46,695
Year 6-11 31,000
Year 12-18 33,747
Year 19-21 30,000
Source: Liverpool Victoria

As every parent is aware the bills don't stop rolling in when their offspring reach 18.

In fact, the escalating cost of university means that on average UK parents splash out 30,000 on their child between the ages of 19 and 21.

"Everyone knows that raising children can be expensive but few will have realised that bringing up three children could cost nearly half a million pounds," Malcolm Berryman, Liverpool Victoria's group chief executive, said.

The BBC's Darshini David
"For parents it's all worthwhile"


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