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Is D.C. A Mecca For Child-Free Living Or Are Kids Just Too Expensive?

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The childless may find the District particularly attractive, according to recent rankings.
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The childless may find the District particularly attractive, according to recent rankings.

The District was recently christened No. 3 in a list of the 14 best U.S. cities for child-free living by the real estate blog Estately. But do the facts on the ground really make support the notion that D.C. is a hub for couples without kids?

There does appear to be some truth to the claim. Just 17.3 percent of District residents are under the age of 18, according to the most recent Census data. That's a full 6.1 percentage points below the national average.

Estately's list isn't just based on the raw number of children, however. It also includes nightlife, restaurants, travel options, and other adult-oriented activities that would attract the childless to the area. The blog cites a number of factors for D.C.'s prominence, including the District's high level of educational attainment and large population of career professionals.

The nation's capital was bested only by Seattle and San Francisco.

While D.C. may be attractive to those who have consciously decided not to have children, the cost of living may also be encouraging young professionals already living in the area to remain childless.

A report from Redfin, another real estate blog, says it costs $29,800 to raise a baby for just one year in D.C. This is corroborated by another recent study, which says it takes $88,615 a year for a family of four just to "get by."

Whether you're a career climber, a socialite, or you're just broke, putting off having children appears to be the trend.

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