One More Good Thing to Say About Dallas Before the Year Ends: We Are Fertile, We Have Kids

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 back-yards 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-Ft. Worth has gained — a difference of a half million. Even cities known to me as retirement centers when I was growing up,  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, LA and Chicago are losing families by the carloads because of — you guessed it — housing. No one seems to be having babies in NY, NJ and Pa. and San Francisco is almost, says Kotkin, a child-free city: only 11.2% of the population is under age 15. And 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 1200 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!

 

Top 50 Metro Areas for Projected Absolute Growth
CBSA Title Households in 2012 Projected Households in 2017 Projected absolute change 2012-2017 Projected percent change 2012-2017
1 Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX 2,111,564 2,252,126 140,562 6.7%
2 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA 1,969,898 2,075,415 105,517 5.4%
3 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV (Metro Division) 1,662,591 1,746,167 83,576 5.0%
4 Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX (Metro Division) 1,553,474 1,633,725 80,251 5.2%
5 New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ (Metro Division) 4,371,918 4,446,949 75,031 1.7%
6 Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ 1,561,910 1,634,548 72,638 4.7%
7 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 1,312,345 1,376,890 64,545 4.9%
8 San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX 776,007 831,024 55,017 7.1%
9 Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX 667,168 716,242 49,074 7.4%
10 Fort Worth-Arlington, TX (Metro Division) 785,628 833,991 48,363 6.2%
11 San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA 1,090,335 1,138,248 47,913 4.4%
12 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA (Metro Division) 3,221,066 3,268,050 46,984 1.5%
13 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 805,796 850,864 45,068 5.6%
14 Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC 683,543 728,538 44,995 6.6%
15 Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO 1,015,569 1,056,744 41,175 4.1%
16 Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA (Metro Division) 1,068,504 1,108,711 40,207 3.8%
17 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 1,161,658 1,199,024 37,366 3.2%
18 Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 1,284,894 1,320,378 35,484 2.8%
19 Jacksonville, FL 533,509 568,859 35,350 6.6%
20 Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville, CA 791,879 826,965 35,086 4.4%
21 Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA 873,480 907,740 34,260 3.9%
22 Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL (Metro Division) 2,877,909 2,911,447 33,538 1.2%
23 Las Vegas-Paradise, NV 711,976 745,470 33,494 4.7%
24 Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN 624,014 657,493 33,479 5.4%
25 Raleigh-Cary, NC 441,202 472,777 31,575 7.2%
26 Philadelphia, PA (Metro Division) 1,538,067 1,569,463 31,396 2.0%
27 Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, CA (Metro Division) 928,246 958,795 30,549 3.3%
28 Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FL (Metro Division) 882,802 910,348 27,546 3.1%
29 Indianapolis-Carmel, IN 685,856 713,179 27,323 4.0%
30 Columbus, OH 734,318 761,146 26,828 3.7%
31 Boston-Quincy, MA (Metro Division) 737,964 761,547 23,583 3.2%
32 Richmond, VA 494,986 518,334 23,348 4.7%
33 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 636,585 659,234 22,649 3.6%
34 Kansas City, MO-KS 803,153 825,336 22,183 2.8%
35 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 623,830 644,782 20,952 3.4%
36 Baltimore-Towson, MD 1,041,128 1,061,847 20,719 2.0%
37 West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach, FL (Metro Division) 546,085 566,635 20,550 3.8%
38 Oklahoma City, OK 497,699 517,847 20,148 4.0%
39 Edison-New Brunswick, NJ (Metro Division) 860,340 880,060 19,720 2.3%
40 Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, CA (Metro Division) 996,584 1,015,868 19,284 1.9%
41 Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN 840,122 859,034 18,912 2.3%
42 St. Louis, MO-IL 1,119,596 1,138,367 18,771 1.7%
43 Columbia, SC 298,557 316,723 18,166 6.1%
44 Tucson, AZ 386,434 403,932 17,498 4.5%
45 Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN 518,480 535,763 17,283 3.3%
46 Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, FL (Metro Division) 696,388 712,878 16,490 2.4%
47 Bakersfield-Delano, CA 255,261 271,724 16,463 6.4%
48 Salt Lake City, UT 377,450 393,567 16,117 4.3%
49 Colorado Springs, CO 248,724 264,183 15,459 6.2%
50 Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL 262,941 278,347 15,406 5.9%