No matter where you live in Oregon, it takes more than $77,000 per year for a couple to raise two kids — to raise them in a “modest yet adequate” standard of living. The Family Budget Calculator updated today by the Economic Policy Institute shows that, for families with children, child care is often the biggest cost.
In the lowest-cost county in the state, Morrow County, a couple raising two kids would need more than $77,700 per year to achieve economic security. That is much higher than the federal poverty line for a family of the same size: $24,600.
“Research over the years has shown that Oregon has some of the nation’s most expensive child care,” said Janet Bauer, policy analyst with the Oregon Center for Public Policy, who examined the calculator’s data. “The Family Budget Calculator confirms that child care is a big burden on families raising children.”
In the most expensive places to live in Oregon, Clackamas and Washington counties, a single parent raising one child would need about $72,000 per year to provide a decent life for that child. A single, childless adult would need about $46,000 to be economically secure.
Besides child care, Oregonians face high costs for other basic needs, such as housing and transportation, the calculator shows.
The Family Budget Calculator does not factor in public benefits, including federal health care subsidies. It also does not account for health insurance costs paid by employers.
Taxes are calculated according to 2016 tax law and include federal taxes including Social Security and Medicare contributions, state taxes, and exclude local taxes and sales taxes.
“If Oregonians are to have a decent quality of life and true economic opportunity, the essentials of life and work must be more affordable,” said Bauer. “To get there, Oregon should invest in child care, housing, and other basic needs, while looking to increase low- and middle-income Oregonians’ take-home pay.”