Aussies can’t afford to have babies

Raising a child can be very costly over the course of a lifetime.

A mother holds her child for the first time after giving birth to her babies.
Having babies can be an expensive exercise. (Source: Getty)

With the cost of living skyrocketing, mortgage repayments rising and record high rents, it’s no wonder Aussies are putting off one of the biggest expenses of all - having babies.

New research from baby-products subscription service Pebbl revealed a third (34 per cent) of Australians believed the rising cost of living made it too hard for young parents to provide the necessary things for a child.

The research found a further one sixth (14 per cent) of Australians felt they were unable to afford having children, 9 per cent had delayed having a baby, and 6 per cent had decided not to have a baby at all due to rising costs.

Additionally, a fifth of Australians (19 per cent) said if they had to provide for a baby, it would consume a significant proportion of their savings, while 11 per cent believed having a baby would cause them to go into debt. One in 10 (10 per cent) would use credit cards to purchase essential baby items if their savings didn’t cover everything.

How much does having a baby cost?

A 2019 report from IBISWorld listed the average cost of having a baby as $7,918 per year, for the baby's first four years.

Westpac research found the most expensive item was child care, coming in around $4,340 per year, followed by food at $1,227 per year and clothing at $640 per year.

So, over four years, that’s $31,672. But if you consider how much it would cost you from the child’s birth to 18 years old, the numbers are staggering.

​​Some 2018 research by the Australian Institute of Family Studies found it cost low-income families $340 a week to raise two children. That's $8,840 every year or $159,120 over 18 years per child.

However, a 2013 report by the University of Canberra found the cost of raising two children would likely range from $474,000 to $1,097,000 over the course of their childhood.

For one child, that's an estimate of $13,166 to $30,472 every year or $237,000 to $548,500 over 18 years.

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