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Where are all the kids?

This evening, when I was reading the internet, I came across this New York Times article from 2017 talking about how San Francisco has the lowest percentage of children of any of the largest cities in the U.S. It’s around 13% of the population. (Supposedly it was the second lowest in 2015. Pittsburgh was first.)

The article goes on to claim that the city has approximately the same number of dogs as it does children. That number is somewhere around 120,000. Not surprisingly, many blame the city’s prohibitive housing costs as the main culprit for the lack of kids. Families simply cannot afford to live in the city.

This got me searching for more information. Richard Florida looked at similar data back in 2015, but it’s important to note that he looked at metro areas and not the city propers. So the data doesn’t speak to whether families were forced to move out from the urban core to the suburbs in search of more affordable housing or for more space.

Nevertheless, he finds no statistical association between the share of children in a city and things like urban density, economic output per capita, or median home prices. He instead finds that the share of children is positively correlated with two main factors: immigration and with ethnicity – specifically people of Latin origin.

Click here if you’d like to read the rest of Florida’s analysis. And if any of you have additional data on this topic, please do share it below. I think I’m going to continue digging into this question of kids and cities.

Image: Photo by William Bout on Unsplash

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