A new study ranks Fresno and Visalia among the cities in the nation with the highest percentage of children, while San Francisco ranks last.
Using 2020 census data, the American Automobile Association’s State of Play Playgrounds list ranks Visalia at No. 16 and Fresno at No. 28 for cities with the greatest percentage of children.
With 29.5% of the population below 18 years old, 41,708 of Visalia’s 141,384 people are minors.
In Fresno, 28.4% of the population is underage.
Laredo Is No. 1
Laredo, Texas ranked highest with 33% of the population under 18 years of age. Salinas ranked No. 4 with 31%.
San Francisco ranked last with 13.4% of its population being children. Nearby Daly City ranked sixth from the bottom with 15.7%. Nationally, children make up 22.3% of the population.
Birth Rate on the Decline Historically
The U.S. Census reports birth rates have been on the decline since 2008, excepting 2014. The number of births has declined annually an average of .39% a year. The pandemic ushered in a new low for births. The 2020 birth rate dropped by 4.06% compared to 2019.
Between 1950 and 1955, the average birth rate in the U.S. was 24.4 per 1,000 people according to Pew Research Center. In 2021, that rate dropped to 11 births per 1,000 people, the Centers for Disease Control reported.