Children born in 2010 will cost Kentucky families between $130,000 and $150,000 to raise. That's well below the national average. The USDA publishes a report on child-rearing costs each year. This year, costs went up two percent from 2009. On average families in the lowest income group spend $206,000 dollars on a child in before they graduate high school. But that number drops in rural regions. Terry Brooks is Director of Kentucky Youth Advocates. Brooks says for everyone housing takes up nearly a third of expenses.
"And we're not talking luxury housing. Uh, we're talking about shelter that provides adequate places for kids to sleep, facilities, etcetera."
Brooks says Kentuckians are relying on state assistance more to raise their children. He says one in four children in the state live below the poverty level.