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Smaller Cities Attracting Families with Younger Children

By Natalie Wise

If you’re thinking of starting a family or have young children, you may think about moving your family to a location with more children and young families. Where are the most children being born and raised in the United States? Forbes found the 10 metros with the highest populations of children under age 14.

Suburbs and smaller cities remain attractive to families with younger children and early-teenagers, while those with children under age four are slightly more concentrated in the urban cores. Even still, established large cities with dense urban cores, such as New York and Boston, didn’t make the list. The metro areas were divided by overall population, and further divided into percentages within the city’s urban core and suburbs.

The city with the highest population of children under the age of 14 is Salt Lake City, Utah, with youth making up 24.7 percent of the population. No. 2 is Houston, with a youth population of 23 percent. Houston rents are approximately $1,300 and new homes for sale are priced near $475,990, according to HotPads.

Another Texas metro, the Dallas-Fort Worth area, ranks No. 3, right on the heels of Houston, with a percentage of 22.9 percent.

Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif., ranks No. 4, with 22.8 percent of the population under age 14. A third Texas city makes the top five, with San Antonio filling in the No. 5 spot, with youth making up 21.7 percent of the population.

Raleigh, N.C., is No. 6, with a percentage of 21.6. Raleigh is right on par with Indianapolis, at 21.6 percent, also tied with Atlanta. Memphis, the second-largest city in Tennessee, is No. 9, with a youth population of 21.6 percent.

Finally, and perhaps most surprisingly, the No. 10 spot is taken by Phoenix, a city typically considered a retirement hotspot. More than 21 percent of the city’s population is children under the age of 14.

Of the top 10 metros, Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif., had the largest urban concentration of youth (23.9 percent) and Salt Lake City had the largest concentration of youth in the suburbs (25.9 percent).

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