Girls cost more to raise than boys, claims new research

7 July 2016

Girls cost between £300 and £600 a year more to raise than boys, according to new research.

Sainsbury’s Family Finance Report suggests it is around £300 a year more expensive to raise a girl aged 0-5 – at £5,767/year compared to £5,475 for boys.

For older girls the cost difference can reach £400 to £600 a year. The report found:

  • At ages 6-13, girls cost £6,794/year compared to £6,414 for boys.
  • At ages 14-18, girls cost £7,747 compared to £7,172 for boys.


The report doesn’t delve into the reasons why girls seemingly cost more, although it suggests girls’ clothing costs more, while they also purchase women’s shoes, bags and accessories as they get older.

Moneywise columnist Jasmine Birtles, who authored the report, says: “Of course, sugar and spice and all things nice would cost more than slugs and snails and puppy dogs tails, but I’m surprised that parents feel that even when small, their daughters cost more than their sons. Are parents buying more outfits for their tiny girls?”

While costs continue to increase with subsequent children, three quarters (75%) of parents surveyed with more than one child said that it was more expensive to raise their first child compared to subsequent children.

Sainsbury’s Bank says this stacks up with its own analysis of the Office for National Statistics Family Spending Report 2015, where the ‘cost per head’ of each family member starts to decrease after the first child by £29 per head for a two-adult, two-child family, and by £31 per head for a two-adult, three or more child family.

Again, the report doesn’t ask parents why this is the case, but it suggests it could be because items are often shared among families and friends or passed down to siblings. The survey shows that 40% of childhood items are reused, led by toys at 72%, books at 65%, clothes at 64%, cots at 60%, prams at 59% and bikes at 48%.

Earlier this year, separate research by insurer LV= found that the cost of raising a child to age 21 has risen to an all-time high. Plus recent research by Halifax found children’s pocket money has hit its highest level in nine years.

How to cut costs

There’s plenty you can do to reduce the financial burden of having children.

Read our tips on how to cut the costs of:


To cut household costs, you should:

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