New census figures only confirm what we already suspected: There are barely any children left in this town to use that oversize playground they just built for them, which is using up practically a third of well-loved, sometimes hoodlum-filled Dolores Park. The playground is set to open March 31, but will it really get a lot of use and not just devolve into a homeless encampment by November? We shall see.

As of the 2000 Census, families with children represented one of the smallest proportions of our population of any major city in the U.S. You know why? Because it's super expensive to live here, our schools suck, we're surrounded by beautiful places to live that are a mere 15- to 20-minute drive or BART trip away, and our city population is relatively small compared to other major cities that attract hip youths and young professionals.

Now, according to new figures from the most recent census, the school-age kid population has gone even lower; we've lost over 5,000 of them in the last ten years, even though the population of babies and kids under age 5 has gone up by 3,000. Now only 13.4% of the city's population is under 18, which is the lowest of any major city, with Boston (also a small, expensive city with many nearby, easily accessible suburbs) clocking in at 16.8%, and Seattle at 15.4%. Just over in nearby Oakland the kids make up 21% of the city, which is closer to the national average of 24%.

Anyway, enjoy that park kids. You won't have to fight too hard for a swing.

[Uptown Almanac]