In a striking reversal, growing numbers of young parents are choosing to live in New York City over suburbia, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
The number of children under the age of five has fallen 20 to 40 percent in many wealthy communities, with an overall drop of 12 percent across Bergen and Passaic counties since 2000.
At the same time, middle and upper-income areas of Manhattan and Brooklyn have seen virtually the opposite shift in both the number of young adults as well as preschool children, an analysis of the data by the record found.
“We wanted some diversity in the neighborhood,” one Park Slope resident told 1010 WINS reporter Carol D’Auria. He was was raised in the burbs, but is raising his child with his wife in Brooklyn. “(The suburbs) does not have the excitement or edge of the city.”
The trend has begun to change the face of some neighborhoods across North Jersey and could have long-term implications for schools, the housing market and beyond.
Similar declines in suburban living have also appeared in Westchester and Nassau counties, the analysis found.
New York City’s resurgence is not the only factor driving the recent drop-off in young children, as a weak economy, uncertain job prospects and women pursuing careers instead of childbirth are all helping to drive the changes.
The fallout has already hit some North Jersey school systems, causing reductions in the number of classes or rerouting of children among schools, officials say.
“It’s astonishing. Remarkable,” said Adam Fried, superintendent in the Harrington Park School District, which cut the number of kindergarten classes after the enrollment dropped from 70 to 36 children in 2012. “It’s a big concern.”