It is never easy to raise children, and it surely is not cheap to support them until they finish college.
According to the latest calculation by the Bauhinia Foundation Research Center, a middle-class family in Hong Kong needs an average of HK$5.5 million (709,663), or about HK$21,000 per month, to raise a child from cradle to college graduation, Sing Tao Daily reported on Tuesday.
If parents choose to send their child overseas to acquire a university degree, the total cost would rise to nearly HK$7 million.
However, if a child goes to government-funded schools, the cost could be pared down to less than HK$1 million, or just a little more than HK$3,700 per month.
The independent policy think tank presents the estimations based on its child cost calculator. The costs include all daily expenditures, education, travel, leisure, medical care and insurance, among other things, from the day the child is born until the age of 22.
As many parents in Hong Kong want their children to have a headstart in life, they tend to send their children to cram schools and talent classes as well as hire maids and plan family vacations, Bauhinia chairman Donald Li said.
The high cost of living has deterred many couples from having children. So raising the child allowance alone would not be enough to boost the city’s birth rate, according to the think tank’s vice chairman, Lau Ming-wai.
He suggests the government increase housing supply and improve social mobility, the report said.
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