San Francisco’s “More dogs than kids” stereotype just bought a few more years of relevance, as Census numbers confirm a still-declining family population, and only Bayview, Presidio, and Sea Cliff have more than 20% of their populations under 18.
SFist and the broader national media have never shied away from discussing how San Francisco has the lowest percentage of families with kids under 18 of any major U.S. city, which is to say, we are America's most childless city. The Chronicle took stock of this again with the first batch of 2020 Census numbers last August, finding we were still at a national low of 13% of the population 18 and under in 2020, down from 13.4% in 2010, and a high of 16% in the 1990s.
The Chronicle has updated those numbers with the latest Census revisions. We’re still at just 13%, but their new analysis breaks down the population density of kids by neighborhood with some surprising findings (as seen below, darker blue means more kids, lighter blue means fewer).
It’s conventional wisdom in San Francisco that the Tenderloin has the highest percentage of kids per capita than any other neighborhood. But it’s actually far down the list. No. 1 is….Seacliff?! Interesting data crunching by @susieneilson. https://t.co/0zG52ZPvwY— Heather Knight (@hknightsf) May 24, 2022
As observed above, the Tenderloin does not have the highest concentration of kids in the city, as has often been believed. (The Castro actually has a higher percentage of kids under 18!) By raw numbers or by percentages, the Tenderloin is not in the top ten for the population of children.
The highest percentage of kids can be found in Sea Cliff, but that’s a tiny-population anomaly (just over 500 kids and teens in total). Bayview (21.1% under 18) has nearly 10,000 kids and comes in second. The Presidio is third, but again, very small, sample size, and Visitacion Valley is a real kids' neighborhood with about 19.5% under 18, followed by Glean Park at 18.2%.
The lowest percentage of kids can be found in Lincoln Park (again, negligible population size), but just mid-single digit percentages of kids are found in other relatively childless neighborhoods of McLaren Park (4% under 18), Nob Hill (5.2%), and Japantown (6.6%).
We can argue whether this is about housing affordability, percentage of LGBTQ population, or the prohibitive cost of having kids these days (it’s likely all three). But the downward trend in the SF children’s population is certainly going to continue. Per the Chronicle, “it’s likely that the youth populations of these neighborhoods will drop even more in the coming decade.”
Image: @usa4 via Twitter