Home / What is the Average Expenditure on Children by Canadian Families?

What is the Average Expenditure on Children by Canadian Families?

Green Light Canada
Get matched and discover immigration programs

You can apply in just 60 seconds – Take the free online assessment test and find out the best immigration options for you.

Every year, Canada welcomes hundreds of thousands of newcomers, many arriving with their families, embarking on a journey to build a new life in a different country.

Newcomer families, much like any other, often allocate a significant portion of their income to expenses related to raising children. Therefore, understanding the anticipated costs in Canada becomes a crucial consideration.

You can apply in just 60 seconds – Take the free online assessment test and find out the best immigration options for you.

Moreover, a recent study conducted by Statistics Canada sheds light on this matter. The study categorizes families based on income levels and family size.

Income categories are as follows:

  • Low income: Below CAD 83,013 annually.
  • Middle income: CAD 83,013—137,790 annually.
  • Higher income: Over CAD 137,790 annually.


The number of children (single, two, and three-child households) and the structure (single-parent and two-parent families) distinguish family sizes.

Which Child-related Expenses Requires the Highest Costs? 

The study reports the distribution of total expenditure per child in a two-child household as follows:

  • Healthcare: 4%
  • Clothing: 7%
  • Miscellaneous: 10%
  • Childcare and education: 14%
  • Food: 17%
  • Transportation: 20% 
  • Housing: 29% 


Does this pattern change based on the number of children?! 

As anticipated, these findings exhibit variations depending on family size. For instance, the total expenses for children (ages 0-17) in single-child households were as follows:

  • Low-income: CAD 290,580
  • Middle-income: CAD 373,500
  • Higher income: CAD 545,580

These figures are notably higher compared to equivalent numbers from two-child households. This aligns with expectations, as parents in single-child families, having fewer children to provide for, can allocate more of their income to a single child. Similarly, expenditure per child in three-child households was lower across every income bracket than in two-child homes (notably lower than expenditure in single-child families).

The study reveals that expenditure per child is 20-38% higher in one-child families compared to two-child households. Additionally, three-child families spent 8-15% less per child than their two-child counterparts.

What is the Expenditure by Families on their Children? 

For families with two parents, the amounts spent on each child aged 0-17 were as follows:

  • Low-income: CAD 238,190 
  • Middle-income: CAD 293,000
  • Higher income: CAD 403,910


In addition, when comparing data from the same family groups, which accounted for children living at home from ages 0-22, the expenditures were as follows:

  • Low-income: CAD 308,710
  • Middle-income: CAD 378,900
  • Higher income: CAD 521,270


This comparison highlights the significant increase in expenses as children age an additional 5 years in Canada. Notably, a general finding from the study, spanning all income groups and family sizes, is that if children aged 18-22 still reside at home, total expenditures per child increased by $68,000-CAD 117,000—primarily attributed to post-secondary tuition fees. This information becomes more pertinent considering that, as per a 2017 survey, 90% of adults aged 18-19 and 68% of individuals aged 20-24 live at home.

Do these Findings Vary Based on the Number of Parents in a Household? 

In conclusion, the study identified disparities in child expenses between single and two-parent households.

Furthermore, at the low-income level (for families with one, two, and three children), expenses were largely comparable between one and two-parent households. However, this similarity diminished as the number of children increased in a family: one-child families spent approximately the same amount per child, regardless of the number of parents, but in three-child households, two-parent families notably outspent their single-parent counterparts per child.

Interestingly, as families moved into the middle-income bracket, single-parent households consistently surpassed two-parent households in per-child expenditures by a significant margin, regardless of the number of children.

Send us a message

    More News

    In the most recent Express Entry draw IRCC extended invitations to 1,040 candidates. In this draw, candidates needed a minimum Comprehensive Ranking...

    Canada stands out as a top choice for international students globally. Thanks to its exceptional educational institutions, international reputation, and promising work...

    New Brunswick is one of Canada’s three maritime provinces, distinguished as the sole officially bilingual region, recognizing both English and French. Nestled...

    Notifiction bar


    We can help you with the whole immigration process!