Children Congregated in Western, Southern US Metro Areas

August 2, 2010

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Data-driven | Government & Politics | Retail & E-Commerce | Youth & Gen X

Metropolitan areas with the highest percentage of residents younger than 18 are disproportionately located in the Western and Southern US, according to data from The Urban Institute MetroTrends.

SoCal, TX Metro Areas Have Most Kids
A look at national map of US metropolitan areas shows that the share of children is distributed extremely unevenly in different geographic areas. No metropolitan area on the Atlantic seaboard has a metropolitan area with more than 27% residents younger than 18, and most have 23.1% or less of their population represented by this age demographic.


Even delving further into the interior of the Eastern US, Mississippi is the easternmost state with a metropolitan area that has a share of residents younger than 18 which is greater than 27%.

Conversely, while the Western and Southern US have fewer metropolitan areas than the Eastern US, many of them feature a share of residents younger than 18 in excess of 29%. These areas are clustered in California and Texas, with Salt Lake City, UT also containing one. In addition, the Western and Southern US feature more metropolitan areas where 27.1-29% of residents are younger than 18, with California and Texas again accounting for the majority.

CA, TX Dominate Top 10 Metro Areas for Kids
As expected considering their metropolitan youth population clusters, metropolitan areas located in California and Texas dominate the list of the top 10 US metropolitan areas by share of residents younger than 18. The list features five areas in California, four in Texas, and one in Utah.


McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX is the number one metropolitan area, with 35.9% of its residents younger than 18. Bakersfield, CA comes in third, and is the highest-ranking Californian metropolitan area, with a 29.8% youth share. Salt Lake City, UT comes in fifth with a 29.6% youth share.

Northeast Has Six of 10 Bottom Metro Areas for Kids
Although the two US metropolitan areas with the lowest share of population younger than 18 are both in the Southern state of Florida, numbers three through eight are all located in the Northeast. The Western area of San Francisco-Oakland comes in 10th with a 21.6% share. The lowest share of all is in Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice, FL (18.4%).


Back-to-School Sales Forecast to Beat Past 2 Years
Marketers targeting the back-to-school market may have significant profit potential in the metropolitan areas with high percentages of young residents. 2010 back-to-school per capita family spending will rise 10.5% from 2009 levels and 2% from 2008 levels, according to data from the National Retail Federation (NRF) and BIGresearch.

The average US family will spend $606.40 on clothes, shoes, supplies and electronics for school-aged children K-12 this year, 10.5% more than $548.72 last year, and 2% more than $594.24 in 2008. Total spending on school-aged children in grades K-12 is expected to reach $21.35 billion, up 22.5% from $17.42 billion in 2009 and 6.2% from $20.1 billion in 2008.

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