It’s hard for me to imagine anyone packing up and moving to a new city primarily to find like-minded people, yet it happens all the time. Political conservatives will probably be unhappy in Austin, Texas, for example. Anchorage, Alaska isn’t the best locale for people who hate outdoor activities.
Right now, I’m deep in the process of number-crunching responses to our first-ever survey of women without children, It’s unfortunate, but not super surprising to learn that almost half of the almost 500 survey respondents have only a few NotMom girlfriends, and 50 have yet to meet another child-free woman at all.
Clearly, they don’t live in places like San Francisco or Seattle.
According to the most recent U.S. Census, those cities are #1 and #2 for households without children under age 18. Seattle also ranks among the country’s highest rates of married couples without kids, and people living alone. (btw, if you’re thinking San Francisco’s high gay population is the reason for its top status, you haven’t been paying attention to the rising number of gay men and women with kids!)
Both locales have been packed with child-free households for decades. Both offer hipsters and young, childless professionals several stylish neighborhoods in which to live. University of Washington economics professor Shelly Lundberg told The Seattle Times that housing tends to be expensive in cities high in childless households. Such cities are “geographically concentrated,” she explained, without the sprawl common in urban centers like Los Angeles or Pittsburgh.
The national average is for a city to have 34% of households with children. Compare that to the top 10 child-free areas:
1. San Francisco – 18.1%
2. Seattle – 19.8%
3. Washington, D.C. – 22.1%
4. Boston – 23.4%
5. Portland – 25.3%
6. Denver – 25.5%
7. Baltimore – 28.7%
8. Greater Nashville – 28.7%
9. Austin – 29.2%
10. Philadelphia – 29.8%