San Francisco parents may not be surprised to learn that they're paying more than their suburban counterparts, but a new report courtesy of Care.com and Zillow, childcare and real estate websites, respectively, has put an average figure on the cost differential for us to bandy about, and it's $12,560 a year.
The report's comparison, covered here by the Business Times, accounts for childcare expenses, property taxes, and housing costs in US cities and their suburbs, contrasting the two to write that "city-dwelling families nationwide spend around $9,073 more per year to cover basic housing and child care costs than ‘burb-dwelling families." That puts our differential above average, but it's a fraction of the size of the margin between New York City living with kids and the cost of raising them in the suburbs. That difference was $71,237 a year, per the report.
San Francisco made the cost/savings ranking at number five after NY, Chicago, Dallas, and DC (in that order). By contrast, there were many metropoles where living within the city proper was actually cheaper with the kids than setting up shop in the suburbs would be. Philadelphia, for example, topped that list, with suburban families paying $13,849 more, on average, than they would to raise kids in the city.
Though it's unlikely to shock Bay Area parents in the city or suburbs, much less cause anyone to run screaming in one direction or the other, the report provides some reasoning as to San Francisco's reputation as a city of adult children with no children themselves. That impression was recently borne by reporting from the New York Times in January, who named us again the most childless city in the country, an account preceded by a planning report on "the challenge of keeping families in San Francisco." Maybe provide them $12,000 or so in benefits and they'll stick around?