Baby bust in California Bay Area tied to high cost of housing

SFGate:
A harbinger of the absurdly high cost of housing in the San Francisco Bay Area may be visible in the region's maternity wings.

San Francisco is a city of few children. You're more likely to see a French bulldog roaming Alamo Square Park than packs of kids frolicking among the Victorians. The lack of youngsters is indicative of a larger issue in the city: the absurdly high cost of housing.

According to a new study, when housing prices go up, the birth rate goes down.

It's a trend economists noticed during the 2008 recession — the number of babies being born in the U.S. plummeted after millions of people lost their homes and savings. Researchers expected the birth rate to bounce back in the recovery years, but that didn't happen. Instead, it continued to fall.

Of course there are multiple factors that contribute to a falling birth rate, including societal trends and the availability of birth control. But the unattainability of home ownership may also play into one's decision to have children, the Zillow researchers say. They calculated their data using the Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI), and age-specific fertility rates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

"If rising home values contributed to fewer babies being born, we would expect to see that birth rates fell more in places where home values rose more," the study explains. "Birth records from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics show that this is, in fact, what happened: There was a strong negative relationship between home value growth and birth rate change across large counties in the U.S. for 25- to 29-year-old women, from 2010 to 2016."

Bay Area counties showed some of the strongest correlation between dropping birth rates and increasing home prices. In San Francisco County, the number of babies born to mothers age 25 to 29 fell by 21.7 percent between 2010 and 2016. Meanwhile, home values rose by 61.2 percent over the same period. According to a 2017 New York Times report, San Francisco has the lowest percentage of kids in any major U.S. city. It also has arguably the highest cost of living.
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I think the correlation is valid, but there is probably another factor in the San Francisco area.  I think they have a higher number of homosexual couples of both genders which requires something beyond normal procreation practices to make babies.  This is at a minimum an added cost to go along with the high priced housing.

Frustration with teh housing cost in the area is also leading many people to want to leave the area to find more reasonably priced homes.

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