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San Francisco may have more dogs than children, here's why

Cortney Moore

If you prefer Fido over children, then the Bay Area may be the right move for you.

At least that’s what a report from the travel newsletter Air Mail appears to suggest with their coverage this week that states San Francisco is home to more dogs than kids.

According to 2018 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of San Francisco was 883,305. About 4.5 percent were said to be under the age of five, which is equivalent to approximately 39,748.73 children who weren’t old enough to be enrolled in kindergarten. Additionally, 13.4 percent were said to be under the age of 18, which is equivalent to approximately 118,362.87 minors.

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If Air Mail’s assertion is true, there would have to more than 158,111 dogs, give or take, to account for fluctuations in the San Francisco population.

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The San Francisco Civil Grand Jury said no one knows for sure how many dogs are actually in the city, but it might be accurate that there are more furry friends around than there are kiddos.

For some who live in other areas of the country where children are not in short supply, it can be puzzling to think of a city being overrun by pups.

However, Air Mail credited San Francisco’s booming tech industry for the imbalance.

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Dog-friendly start-ups founded in the city coupled with the overall cultural acceptance of pooches in public spaces has contributed to an environment where man’s best friend is the go-to companion.

“The city’s demographic is skewing younger and richer, and people are staying single for longer, having fewer children, and procuring dogs,” the report added.

Likewise, KQED News cited San Francisco’s housing market and the high cost of living as factors that encourage dog ownership over parenthood. When comparing the city’s population to that of the rest of the U.S., the publication suggests that San Francisco has fewer children due to it being easier to start a family elsewhere rather than residents being dog crazy.

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Despite the causes, San Francisco is very inclusive of dog owners when compared to other cities. A number of hip tech companies in the Bay Area allow employees to bring their dogs to the office along with other dog-friendly benefits, according to online pet watching service Rover.

San Francisco is also home to unique business ventures like dog-focused bakeries, hotels, spas and more.

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Business consulting firm Grand View Research projects that the pet care market will grow to $202.6 billion by 2025 and will have dogs leading the pack.

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