Top DC Neighborhood for Families with School Aged Children

Posted by Lise | Filed under: Buyers
Is there a difference in DC neighborhoods when it comes to families with children? The trendy neighborhoods like Adams Morgan and Dupont seem filled with babies in expensive strollers and sleep deprived new moms power walking back into shape.  But where are the school aged children heading off with back packs in tow? In the suburbs?  Are those trendy parents heading out of the urban environment as their children hit school age?

Education is clearly top of mind when parents decide to relocate. Among adults who live with children, nearly two thirds (63%) said a neighborhood’s school district would be among the most important considerations (aside from the home’s price) when searching for a home – but few adults without kids would take school districts into account:

Consideration in home search Has Children No Children Difference
Size of home 70% 66% 3%
Neighborhood Crime Rates 69% 65% 4%
Neighborhood School Districts 63% 20% 42%
Length of Commute to Office/Work 58% 46% 12%
Home’s Proximity to Amenities 50% 59% -9%
Age of Home 47% 49% -2%
Area’s Likelihood of Natural Disasters 35% 37% -3%
Proximity of Home to External Family 33% 29% 5%
Pet Friendly Home Accommodations 32% 32% 0%
Note: Trulia worked with Harris Interactive to conduct an online survey of 2,029 U.S. adults from June 24-26, 2013. Respondents were asked “Other than the price of the home, which of the following considerations, if any, would be among the most important to you, if you were searching for a home? Please check all that apply.” For the full methodology, see below. Note that numbers are rounded and may not add perfectly as a result.

More Backpacks or More Strollers in the Neighborhood?
Parents with kids want larger homes, safer neighborhoods, and better schools. Data from the 2010 Census on where families live show how these desires actually play out. To see which neighborhoods families choose to live in as their kids approach school age, we looked at the relative populations of children aged 0-4 and 5-9. Nationally, there are just about as many elementary-school-age kids (those between 5 and 9 – let’s call them “backpacks”) as there are preschoolers (kids from 0 to 4 – “strollers”). In other words, the ratio of backpacks to strollers is very close to 1 – to be precise, it’s 1.01. (Of course, older kids have backpacks too, and not every kid age 0-4 is in a stroller. But you get the point.) Spelling it out more clearly:

  • A neighborhood with a ratio below 1 (i.e., more strollers than backpacks) indicates that more families are moving out of that area than moving in as children reach school age
  • A neighborhood with a ratio above 1 (i.e. more backpacks than strollers) indicates that more families are moving into that area than moving out as children reach school age

So, where in DC do strollers outweigh backpacks, and vice versa?

According to Trulia, Foggy Bottom, Logan Circle and Columbia Heights/Adams Morgan top the list of stroller-heavy neighborhoods, where families are happy to raise babies and toddlers, but tend to take off when their kids are ready to go to school. (Trulia looked at zip codes rather than neighborhood boundaries, so the neighborhoods correlate to 20037, 20005 and 20009, respectively.)

DC’s stroller neighborhoods share a few qualities with others across the country: they are urban, high-density and pricey.

In general, the more expensive, higher-density, urban neighborhoods are the most extreme stroller neighborhoods. These are the neighborhoods that families are most likely to leave when the kids reach school age.

Here is the full Trulia chart for a selection of cities across the country.

City Top 3 “Stroller” Neighborhoods Backpack-to-Stroller Ratio
New York 11109 (Long Island CityQueens) 0.27
10006 (Financial District/World Trade Center) 0.33
10005 (Financial District/Wall Street) 0.33
Los Angeles 90094 (Playa Vista) 0.30
90069 (Hollywood Hills/West Hollywood) 0.50
90292 (Marina del Rey) 0.55
Chicago 60661 (West Loop) 0.22
60654 (River North) 0.25
60605 (South Loop) 0.39
Miami 33131 (Brickell) 0.40
33132 (Wynwood/Edgewater/Dodge Island) 0.45
33139 (Miami Beach/South Beach) 0.61
San Francisco 94105 (South Beach/SOMA) 0.26
94158 (Mission Bay) 0.52
94107 (Potrero Hill/Dogpatch/SOMA) 0.52
Houston 77054 (Astrodome) 0.46
77002 (Downtown) 0.51
77006 (Neartown/Montrose) 0.55
Dallas 75201 (Arts District) 0.54
75206 (Lower Greenville) 0.63
75001 (Addison) 0.64
Philadelphia 19106 (Society Hill/Independence Mall) 0.44
19103 (Fitler Square/Rittenhouse Square) 0.50
19130 (Fairmount/Art Museum) 0.57
Boston 02215 (Fenway/Kenmore) 0.33
02116 (Back Bay) 0.49
02114 (West End) 0.49
Washington, DC 20037 (Foggy Bottom) 0.22
20005 (Logan Circle) 0.47
20009 (Columbia Heights/Adams Morgan) 0.56

Where the “Backpack” Neighborhoods Are
Plenty of parents stay in the city when their kids reach school age – and within each urban school district there are a few neighborhoods that draw in these “backpack” families. Unlike the extreme stroller neighborhoods, backpack neighborhoods tend to be more affordable and are lower density – in other words, fewer high-rises and more single-family homes. In city school districts where kids are assigned to a neighborhood elementary school, better-quality schools are a big draw.  In DC, only one zip code had significantly more “backpack” kids than “stroller” babies: 20015, the zip that encompasses Chevy Chase.

City Top 3 “Stroller” Neighborhoods Backpack-to-Stroller Ratio
New York 11363 (DouglastonQueens) 1.36
10307 (TottenvilleStaten Island) 1.31
11697 (Breezy Point/RoxburyQueens) 1.19
Los Angeles 90290 (Topanga) 1.40
91307 (West Hills/Bell Canyon) 1.32
90272 (Pacific Palisades) 1.29
Chicago 60643 (Morgan Park) 1.18
60652 (Ashburn) 1.16
60631 (Norwood Park) 1.13
Miami 33158 (Deering Bay) 1.52
33156 (Pinecrest) 1.45
33149 (Key Biscayne) 1.31
San Francisco 94130 (Treasure Island) 1.18
94134 (Visitacion Valley) 1.08
94127 (Miraloma/West Portal) 1.02
Houston 77401 (Bellaire) 1.22
77005 (University Place/West University Place) 1.13
77085 (Central Southwest) 1.08
Dallas 75241 (Southeast Oak Cliff) 1.08
75159 (Seagoville) 1.08
75233 (Redbird) 1.01
Philadelphia 19126 (West Oak Lane/East Oak Lane) 1.06
19151 (Overbrook) 1.05
19137 (Bridesburg) 1.03
Boston 02126 (Mattapan) 1.02
Washington, DC 20015 (Chevy Chase) 1.08
Remember that any neighborhood can be perfect for your family if it meets your needs, but some neighborhoods attract more parents with school aged children than others. So, if you are looking for a new home for your school aged family, Chevy Chase DC is probably your best bet for finding a home in a popular school district with lots of children on the block for playmates.
If you have a home to buy or sell, be sure to call the Lise Howe Group of Keller Williams Capital Properties to start your home search at 240-401-5577 or 301-251-1221.

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32 Responses

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