How much does it cost to have a baby? The answer is wildly different depending on where you live

Must read

If you’re planning to give birth this year, it may be helpful to know roughly how much it’ll cost you. As with many of life’s biggest expenses, the price depends on where you live. According to FAIR Health’s Cost of Giving Birth Tracker, the national median allowed value for in-network vaginal delivery is $12,968.44 and $15,555.61 for a C-section.

Data from FAIR Health, a New York–based nonprofit that promotes health care cost transparency, accounted for the delivery itself (e.g., pharmacy, nursery, labor and delivery room, medical and surgical supplies, room and board for the mother), anesthesia, fetal nonstress tests, ultrasounds, laboratory work, and breast pump.

The state with the highest median allowed in-network amount for vaginal deliveries is Alaska at $21,525.77, followed closely by New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. The state with the lowest median allowed in-network cost for vaginal deliveries was Alabama at $7,840.62, followed by Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Alaska also had the highest median allowed in-network amount for C-sections at $25,518.63, whereas Alabama was the lowest at $8,913.31.

The cost of childbirth is so high that many people are considering forgoing starting families altogether. As previously reported in Fortune, a 2015 study estimated that women with $60,000 in student debt were 42% less likely to have children than their non-indebted peers, after controlling for education, class background, and demographic indicators. As student loan debt increases, birth rates continue to fall—setting the stage for an aging population and a smaller workforce in years to come.

“It’s increasingly become an economic situation where you can have one thing, but not all the things,” sociologist Arielle Kuperberg told Fortune back in February. “Family, economic security, a college degree, or not a lot of debt—you can only get one or two of those.”

Subscribe to Well Adjusted, our newsletter full of simple strategies to work smarter and live better, from the Fortune Well team. Sign up today.

More articles

Latest article