Thursday, December 27, 2012
Study: Dallas is experiencing a baby boom due to strengthening housing market
The city has the sixth largest youth population in the nation.
DALLAS We like kids, right? Sure we do. Well, we have a lot of them in Dallas-Fort Worth. It’s a good sign when you have a lot of families with little ones visiting Santa and outgrowing their tennies, because that means mom and dad will have to buy more. And families need homes to raise the kids, preferably with leafy backyards and, if we go upscale, pools. (And if we go nuts ... never mind.) Demographers, investors, businesses, and even politicians love kids because they indicate a strong future and growth from all that spending. Now Joel Kotkin tells us some interesting things about the kids in this country: There are way more in some parts, way fewer in others. That has major implications for the future: Cities who are losing children tend to be those with impossible home prices; and regions who are getting the kids tend to be those with affordable homes, like us. In fact, Texas is right up there tip top of the 31 metro areas where youth population expanded significantly from 2000 to 2010:
The 10 regions that posted the strongest growth were in Texas, the Southeast, and the Intermountain West. Leading the nation is Raleigh, N.C., where the number of children under 15 rose a whopping 45%, or 77,421. Texas is experiencing something of a baby boom, paced by Austin, second among America’s largest metro areas with a youth population expansion of 38%; Dallas-Ft. Worth (sixth); Houston (eighth); and San Antonio (11th).
New York City, says Kotkin, has lost about as many children as Dallas-Fort Worth has gained — a difference of a half million. Even cities known to me as retirement centers when I was growing up such as Las Vegas and Phoenix are attracting families, as are Riverside/San Bernardino, Calif., Salt Lake City and Oklahoma City. Families also like Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio. The deal is that places like New York, L.A., and Chicago are losing families by the carloads because of — you guessed it — housing. No one seems to be having babies in New York, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania. San Francisco is almost, says Kotkin, a child-free city - only 11.2% of the population are under age 15. Despite what you hear about “the return of families to the city,” it isn’t really happening when the costs of urban living would crowd a family of four into 1,200 square feet for several thousand dollars a month in rent. Most families still go far out to suburbia to find the most house for their money.
According to a study by Pitney-Bowes, Dallas/Plano/Irving is projected to have a 5.2% increase in our population by 2017. So the next time I see some little ones playing around or jumping up in a restaurant, I will smile at them because they are a sign of strength in our economy. Who knows, maybe I ought to start carrying animal crackers again in my purse!
See a list of the Top 50 Metro Areas for Projected Absolute Growth here.
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