Thursday, March 24, 2011

San Francisco's Child Exodus

I was reading in the Examiner today about the continuing flight of families out of San Francisco. I feel guilty about contributing to this trend by taking two young'uns out of the city in recent months.

An empty San Francisco playground (photo credit: Permanently Scatterbrained)
For us, it came down to our housing situation. We probably would have put up with many hassles of raising kids in the city if we could have found a suitable place to live. (The supposed superiority of Berkeley schools helped cement the decision, but now that Berkeley High students seem to be discharging firearms with the frequency that Heidi Montag gets plastic surgery, who knows if we made the right choice.)

From the story:
The number of children — defined as people up to 17 years old — has dropped from 181,532 in 1960 to 107,524 today, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau figures. The 2000 census counted 112,802 youths.
The decrease is disappointing news for city officials, who have attempted to counter the family-flight trend by creating more affordable housing, improving schools and cutting costs, such as a college savings account for kindergarten enrollees.
One amusing tidbit: City officials had thought they were making progress because "a 2009 controller’s survey found families with children were no longer more likely to leave The City than other people, with the exception of families with children under the age of 6."

Um, that's a huge exception! If a family is going to move out of San Francisco, that's pretty much when they'll do it.

That's like saying, "We've made real progress getting people to stop drinking Four Loko and car surfing — with the exception of males age 17 to 24."