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August 7, 2023

Study ranks Worcester in the top 20 most expensive places to raise children

PHOTO | Christine Peterson Triple-deckers are one of the principal types of housing in the Main South neighborhood, where housing is 78% rentals.

The Worcester metropolitan area ranked 16th nationally in a 2023 SmartAsset study of the most expensive places to raise a child.

In Worcester, the average cost per child came in at $24,752 a year. The study from the New York-based financial technology firm measured baseline costs per child, and then it analyzed the change in expenses based on whether a child is first, second, or third-born. 

For the Worcester metropolitan area, the average cost for expenses for families with one child is $27,439 per year, $23,752 per child for families with two children, and $23,066 per child for families with three children, according to the SmartAsset study. 

Approximately 50% of spending on children goes to childcare, 14% to additional housing costs, and 14% to food. Medical costs, transportation and other necessities make up less than 10% each, on average.

Ann Arbor, Michigan, ranked first according to the study, followed by the San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, California and the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California areas.

Other Mass. regions on the ranking include Barnstable in fifth, Boston-Cambridge-Newton in sixth, and Pittsfield at 19th.

The study utilized the Massachusetts Institute of Technology living wage calculator. Costs included in the analysis are food, housing, childcare, healthcare, transportation and other necessities in each area.

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