Girls cost significantly more than boys to raise, even during the toddler years, research finds

As any parent can attest, children are a costly investment. But it would seem that daughters cost significantly more to raise than boys.

According to new research by Sainsbury’s Bank, it costs £5,475 a year to raise a boy from birth to 5 years and £5767 for a girl – that’s almost a £300 difference.

The cost gap increases with age, doubling during the teenage years; parents of girls aged between 14 and 18 typically fork out nearly £600 a year more than parents of boys of the same age, the research found.

The reasons for this may be varied but government data shows that girls’ clothing is more expensive than boys for example, and as girls grow, they begin to purchase women’s clothing, shoes, bags and accessories.

The good news is the more children you have the cheaper they are. Three quarters of parents with more than one child said it’s more expensive to raise their first child than any subsequent children.

The average one child family spends £621 a week according to the study, but the cost per head of each family member decreases by £29 per head for a family with two adults and two children, and by £31 per head for a family with two adults and three or more children.

Andrew Hagger, founder of, who contributed to the report, said: “Couples planning their first child may take a sharp intake of breath when they see the figures in this report but at the same time it provides an important reality check and an idea of what to expect.”

“Whether it’s a boy or a girl, household finances can be turned on their head when the first child is born – a sudden spike in expenditure and potentially less income means that the family purse needs to be managed more closely.”