Babies 'R' Expensive: U.S Tops the Charts In Childbirth Costs

Having a baby has always been costly. No matter how penny-pinching you try to be, the bills for diapers and toys add up, especially if you’re in the United States. According to a new report from the International Federation of Health Plans, the cost of childbirth in the United States is more expensive than anywhere else in the world. IFHP, a group monitoring healthcare financing in 28 countries, reports that the cost of a cesarean birth in the United States averages about $15,240, slightly up from $15,041 in 2013. A delivery costs $10,002, up from $9,775 in 2013. 

Compare these numbers to countries like Switzerland where the average for a C-section is 40 percent lower at $10,681. And although Switzerland is about $5,000 lower than the United States, it pales in comparison to Spain and Argentina where C-sections average around $3,000, and a normal delivery averages a little over $2,000.

IFHP reported on birth costs as well as other healthcare costs around the world and in almost every instance, the United States stood out above the rest. WalletHub, a cost comparison site, took IFHP’s findings a step further. It analyzed the best and worst states in the U.S. to have a baby comparing states across 22 metrics, including the cost of having a cesarean or a conventional delivery, infant care costs and the highest number of child centers per capita.

After tallying the numbers, it concluded that Alabama was one of the the worst states to have a baby. Vermont topped the list with a “health care for new moms and baby rank” of 1 and an overall budget friendliness of 21. Other baby-friendly states include Maine, Oregon and Connecticut and New Hampshire, all of which fare well in budget and healthcare for new moms.

Southern states overall did not do so well; South Carolina, Mississippi and Louisiana made the bottom of the list along with Alabama, whose poor numbers are a result of having some of the highest infant mortality rates and poor access to maternity and child care.


If you’re a September baby, you’re not alone says WalletHub, noting that most births take place in September. "During our research of the subject, we found that the most newborn arrivals take place during September and that delivery costs in the United States are astronomical. In fact, they're the highest in the world," Richie Bernardo, a WalletHub financial writer, told Citizen Times. "With these facts combined, we thought the timing of publication and subject matter seemed appropriate."

WalletHub Sources: Data used to create these rankings is courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Child Care Aware of America, the National Partnership for Women & Families, the United Health Foundation, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Tax Foundation, Amnesty International USA and

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.