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Maryland and Virginia Are Among the Top 10 Most Expensive States to Raise Kids

And when compared with other states, DC takes the number one spot.


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Maryland and Virginia are among the top ten most expensive states to raise a child, according to a report by loan site LendingTree. Maryland is at the number 3 spot with a total annual cost per child of $25,156, and Virginia sits at eighth place with a $23,029 annual cost per child.

The study is based on a two-earner household with a girl younger than 5 years old, and accounts for factors like increase in rent and food, apparel (apparently girls’ clothes are more expensive), daycare, transportation, insurance premiums, and tax credits. Daycare was the most expensive factor, with over half of state’s average costs topping $10,000.

The number one spot? DC. But, we’re not burying the lede. The study compares DC with other states, not cities like San Francisco, where in 2020 the estimated daycare cost for a child under 2 was $29,508. Daycare is the main reason DC ranks so high—the average cost here is still a whopping $24,081 a year.

The full study can be found online here.

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Jane Recker
Assistant Editor

Jane is a Chicago transplant who now calls Cleveland Park her home. Before joining Washingtonian, she wrote for Smithsonian Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied journalism and opera.