San Francisco Families Pulling Out, Moving On

I just received this bit of (fill in how you feel) news about San Francisco and the dwindling number of families in the city.

San Francisco Is Losing Families

According to the latest census figures, San Francisco has lost 5,278 children since the last census in 2000. Despite this, the city has 3,000 more children under five than it did 10 years ago but it also has lost more than 8,000 children older than five.

With a resident population of 805,235, 13.4 percent of the city’s population is younger than 18. In 1970, those younger than 18 made up 22 percent of San Francisco. In 1960, they made up 25 percent.

The San Francisco Unified School District has lost almost 7,000 children over the past decade, down in 2010 to 53,033. The district adopted a new student-assignment system last year that gives priority to children living near a school but whether it will stem the exodus of families remains to be seen.

I’m not sure how you all feel about this, but I personally find it slightly disturbing. How long before San Francisco is void of children? I have children (both under 9 years old) and we make sacrifices to stay in San Francisco. What does San Francisco have to do to reverse this trend?

If it’s anything that is going to drive us out, it’s going to be the weather, but that can’t be changed, so let’s focus on keeping families here. Shall we?

One thought on “San Francisco Families Pulling Out, Moving On

  1. First, keep in mind that the national population under 18 is declining as well. In 1960, it was about 36%. In 1970, it was about 34%, in 2010, it was about 24%. If you look at the US level declines as percentage declines:
    36% -> 34% = 5.6% decline
    34% -> 24% = 29% decline

    compare to SF:

    25% -> 22% = 12% decline
    22% -> 13% = 40% decline

    So, yes, SF is declining faster than the rest of the country, but you could take some confidence that decline is not normal.

    In general, I’m pretty sure there’s a correlation between education and number of children – so part of SF’s low child numbers could be a result of the high education of many of its residents.

    Well – how to improve this? It seems that SF is well on its way – make really bad education so that everyone here starts procreating. :)

    But in all seriousness, if SF had really high quality public education, I imagine more families would flock to SF. SF is also not the most kid friendly city. Plant more trees. Make the neighborhoods less ugly. Put power lines underground. Have fewer through streets. Give people something closer to the suburbs.

    Anecdotally, areas like Palo Alto, Cupertino, Los Altos, and Mountain View have people flocking to the area because of the amazing education system, and thus the housing prices have skyrocketed. There’s a little bit of a chicken and egg thing going on there, but if you build awesome education, people will come. No doubt.

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