Cost putting parents off bigger families

Parents are putting plans to have more children on hold as the average cost of raising a child reaches more than £270,000.

Around 66 per cent of parents said they could not afford to have more children, even if they wanted to, because of the impact expanding their family would have on their finances, according to insurer Aviva. At the same time, 58 per cent of parents who have only one child said they were not planning to have any more.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

The group found parents spend an average of £271,499 on each child up to the age of 21 – the equivalent of more than £1,000 a month. Figures from the Office for National Statistics show the typical family size has fallen during the past 40 years, dropping from an average of two children to 1.7.

The often-quoted statistic that the average family has 2.4 children actually relates to the children of women born in 1937.