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Fewer Kids Living in US Suburbs

Population of children drops in 95 percent of America’s counties

According to 2010 Census data, the population of children has dropped in 95 percent of America’s counties, compared with a decade earlier.
According to 2010 Census data, the population of children has dropped in 95 percent of America’s counties, compared with a decade earlier.

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Ted Landphair

When you think of the American suburbs, what comes to mind?

Street after street of similar houses?  Shopping malls and big yards and white picket fences?  

All valid images, but you’re forgetting something that is - or was - a fixture of suburbia: young children, romping on quiet streets and in playgrounds.

According to 2010 Census data, the population of children has dropped in 95 percent of America’s counties, compared with a decade earlier.  While the nation’s population grew almost 10 percent in that time, the number of households with children under 18 remained constant, at about 38 million.

Five million more U.S. households have dogs than have children.

Real-estate publications are taking note of the absence of kids in many neighborhoods, except in suburbs where typically larger Hispanic families have moved in.  

“Lots of elders, lots of singles, fewer kids,” Armondo Carbonell of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy told Realtor magazine.

In some areas of the country, schools have closed from declining enrollments, some child-oriented businesses are closing, and housing needs are shifting, the magazine reported.

In Levittown, Pennsylvania, a planned community that became the stereotype of suburban sprawl, Jim White recalls that everybody on his street had kids. He told the USA Today newspaper, “At no time could you walk out and not have someone to play with.”

Now, as his neighbor, Kathy Bachman, told the newspaper, “Out of 75 houses on the street, I’d say maybe 15 have kids.”

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by: Paddy O
March 05, 2012 8:55 AM
My wife and I have made a decision not to have children in this economy. I was born in 1980 and remember my parent's stories of financial hardship at the time. No way would I willingly bring a child into this world right now, that would be reckless and irresponsible. When we can afford a child, we'll have one then. I have a feeling there a many who think like us.

by: hamad part 1 of 1
March 02, 2012 7:56 PM
If American children have got Chicken nuggets instead of healthy food and vegetable in cities schools , why should they stay in suburb and rural villages ? Actually , the rights of dogs and animals have become more valuable than the rights of human beings and children . This gap will create big loophole between two generations . If they have not got children they will play with their dogs and cats .

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