The Department of Agriculture released its annual report, Expenditures on Children by Families, Thursday, and it showed a middle-income family with a child born in 2011 can expect to spend about $234,900 ($295,000 if projected inflation costs are factored in at an average of 2.55 percent per year). This number is for food, shelter and other necessities to raise a child during the next 17 years. The number (without projected inflation) is a 3.5 percent increase over the 2010 report.

What seems quizzical is how the USDA became the annual report preparer since the first report in 1960. The report comes from the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. That 1960 report said the middle-income family would spend $25,230 to raise their child through high school graduation, but that really compares to $191,720 in 2011 dollars, according to USDA.

The more money a family has the more it spends on raising their child. Poor people scrimp by and the rich provide much more lavish lifestyle for their kids. A family earning less than $59,410 per year can expect to spend a total of $169,080 (in 2011 dollars) on their child through high school, and the family earning more than $102,870 can expect to spend $389,760 on their child. I didn’t even want to see what the number goes to for those families with income of more than $500,000 or $1 million.