Social researcher Mark McCrindle said the Federal Government's estimate of $384,543 to raise a child to 18 was wrong, the Herald Sun reports.
Adding the cost of electronics, private tutoring and sports and dance classes, and considering the average child now stayed at home until 24, the real cost to the Australian parent of raising children was $1,028,093, he said.
"Parents have more money per child, and spend more money per child than their parents did," he said.
"Generation Z, born since 1995, are the most financially endowed generation of children ever. Every child has their own set of everything. We are not in the era of shared toys or hand-me-downs," he said.
He said the average family had 2.7 children and, with 30 per cent of primary students and 40 per cent of high school students in non-government education, parents were more prepared than ever to invest in their kids.
"Parents are spending their after-tax dollars on something that is provided for free, . . . because they want the best for their children."
In a national report on Generation Z, toys and gift trends for Christmas, Mr McCrindle also found the average Aussie child had more than 100 toys but that parents threw out or gave away only five toys a year.
Almost all Aussies admit spending more than $100 on toys per child each year, with a small portion saying they splashed out $500.
He said the strong trend this Christmas was to revert to traditional pastimes, such as science kits, wooden toys and educational games over simplistic plastic toys.
He said nostalgic wooden train sets, toolkits and dolls were making a comeback, along with outdoor toys.
"Free play is out, structured activities are in, and for Gen X hyper-parents, toys have given way to learning tools," Mr McCrindle said.
Mother of two Sarah Tehan, 41, said with every child wanting an iPod or laptop, costs were huge. "There is pressure on people to feel they have to buy them because other kids at school have them. You want them to fit in," Ms Tehan said.
The McCrindle research was carried out with 4500 Australians.
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