HARRISONBURG, Va. -- The birthrate in the U.S. is down to the lowest it has ever been. The reason? The cost of raising kids has skyrocketed.
According to the Department of Agriculture, the average cost of raising a kid is nearly $235,000 just until the age of 17, so that doesn't include college tuition which would double that amount.
"So you're talking a half a million dollars. Most of us will never earn a half a million dollars," said Andrea Thomas, who raises two children on her own.
Thomas says it's been a struggle to send her daughter to college.
"The guidelines say I make too much money for her to receive financial aid, yet I don't make enough money to meet any type of payment plan or something to send her to the school of her choice," said Thomas.
She's not the only parent struggling.
JMU Economics Professor Barry Falk says more people are having fewer kids because of the rising costs.
"You see things are getting more expensive, you know college is getting more expensive, child care is getting more expensive and hard to find," said Falk.
Plus, Falk says with a down economy the last several years, people have had to work more before having kids.
"The father, the male, is losing his job, then the wife would be picking up the slack," said Falk.
That leaves less time for women to have kids.
"It's a catch-22, and there seems to be no solution," said Thomas.
She says there's no solution to make enough money and to have enough time to raise kids.
"You have to wonder as the years go by what that will mean socially as well as economically for the country," said Thomas.