The Big Apple is where many make their dreams come true. After all, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere! If having kids and raising a family is included in that dream though, prepare to pay up.

According to a new report, the income a family needs to raise two kids in New York City is over $98,722 a year. That’s nearly double the U.S. median income of $53,046.

Suburbs of New York City such as Westchester County and Nassau-Suffolk, New York are even more expensive at $99,592 and $103,606, respectively. Within these areas the incomes may fall to as low as $80,000 which adds a tremendous burden on the shoulders of moms and dads in these areas.

However, Washington, D.C., tops the list of most expensive places for parents to raise a couple of kids. You don’t have to be an ambassador, lobbyist, or federal bureaucrat to raise a child in D.C., but you probably need their incomes. Two parents spend a whopping $106,493 to raise two kids here.

Rounding out the top five cities is Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut where $97,350 a year will be just enough on average to raise your two little ones.

For those reading these dizzying numbers from the comforts of the Midwest or Southeast, count yourself blessed.

It’s not a surprise that the cost of living is high in the Northeast. However, what factors into this analysis is the share of child care costs, especially compared with other larger monthly expenses. These vary significantly by area and can sometimes outstrip the cost of rent. Among two-parent, two-child families, child care costs exceed rent in 500 out of 618 family budget areas. Take for example, in Binghamton, N.Y., monthly child care expenses exceed rent by just over $1,300 but on the other end of the spectrum, in San Francisco rent far outweighs child care costs by over $1,000 a month.

CNBC reports:

Feeding, housing, caring and clothing the next generation of Americans can be the costliest household expense. According to, moms estimate they average $13,248 a year caring for one child. It's more expensive in the East, where the average is $14,310. It's cheaper in the Midwest, at $12,171, but that's still over $1,000 a month.

Child care costs exceed rent for nearly five out of six families, according to the Economic Policy Institute. In Binghamton, New York, the monthly cost of caring for two kids exceeds the average rent by $1,300. The institute determined that in America, a two-parent, two-child family needs to earn $63,741 a year "to secure an adequate but modest living standard." After looking at all kinds of combinations of family units and averaging the numbers, here are EPI's most expensive cities for raising kids.

The report published by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) also includes as budget calculator to help you figure out what it costs to raise a family in your area.

The report concludes reiterating the difficult financial situation that many families struggle with:

It is clear that even in the best of economic times, many parents in low-wage jobs will not earn enough through work to meet basic family needs. A full-time, full-year worker paid $7.25 per hour (the federal minimum wage) will earn about $15,080 a year before taxes (DOL 2009). This is below the federal poverty line of $16,317 for a single parent with one child—and far below the income necessary for such a family to attain a secure living standard even in the least expensive family budget area (which stands at $34,881 for that family type in Morristown, Tenn.). Even when accounting for higher minimum wages in states and localities, a full-time, full-year minimum-wage worker is paid below what is necessary for one adult to meet her local family budget—and far below what it takes for an adult with even just one child to make ends meet anywhere.

When earnings from work do not push families over the family budget thresholds, publicly provided work supports can assist workers. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); child care subsidies and tax credits; food stamps (i.e., the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program); and subsidies for housing, transportation, and health care have increased post-tax incomes and consumption for working families.

The report suggests that helping working families pay for childcare is an area for perhaps government to step in.

However, let’s consider that the private sector (employers, families, and communities) may be better suited for the task. A voucher for childcare is another dependency when families want freedom and choice. For decades, generations lived under the same roof which not only provided for childcare but a unique bond that knitted families more closely together. Not only were kids taken care of but so were elderly relatives. Perhaps there’s a way to incentivize families to live together in the same house or neighborhoods from a tax perspective – the least of which is ending penalties against two-parent households which we looked at recently.

With the flexibility to negotiate wages apart from government intervention, employers and employees should be free to negotiate childcare options are part of a salary or wage package. That too could be incentivized in the tax code. However, that negotiating power is eroded by mandates such as ObamaCare’s employer mandate or higher taxes on business.

Creative solutions are out there, however, we need government to support not stand in the way of those ideas from rising to the surface.