In March, the San Francisco Examiner reported on new census data that was disappointing news for city officials who had attempted in recent years to counter the trend of families with young children leaving The City.
Children, defined as those up to 17 years old, 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. That’s a decline of 5,278 in the last decade.
On Tuesday, Supervisor Mark Farrell requested a hearing on family flight, and Supervisor John Avalos requested to partner with Farrell on the hearing.
“I know that this issue has been taken up in years past here in City Hall. The issue has only gotten worse here in San Francisco. I know I’m not alone in saying that a ton of my friends and colleagues have left The City,” Farrell said. He said that there is a “ton of data” but in different places and so he wants to bring everyone together during the hearing to “understand the issue a lot better” and then enact policies “to hopefully stem that flight.”
Avalos said that he is “very alarmed about decline in families and young children in this city.” And he said he’d like to see the hearing also focus on why families decide to stay in San Francisco. “I know a lot of families with young children who want to make it a go here in San Francisco,” Avalos said. “I think the reasons why families stay here is really important to consider in such a hearing. If we lose children in this city we are losing a big part of what makes San Francisco so great.”