Officials in San Francisco are alarmed by the city's rapidly declining population of youngsters. In fact, San Francisco has the smallest share of children among major American cities, and 40 percent of parents are considering leaving within the next year.
Why the exodus and where are they going?
City expert Joel Kotkin offers a clue in his report, Phoenix Rising: A City of Aspiration. Facing escalating living costs in cities such as San Francisco, Boston, and New York, middle-class families are increasingly moving to cities like Houston and Phoenix, where they can afford to live the American Dream.
Unfortunately, San Francisco's strategies for keeping families, including $30 million annually for after-school activities and child care, are likely to exacerbate the problem by increasing the tax burden on families. As analyst Matt Ladner showed in the study, The Tax Man and the Moving Van, areas with high tax burdens are losing population to low-tax areas.
San Francisco's theme song of the 60's might be aptly rewritten, "If you're leavin' San Francisco..."