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FYI Guy

Seattle Times news librarian Gene Balk crunches the numbers

July 11, 2013 at 10:23 AM

What is Seattle’s most kid-free neighborhood?

Belltown: No place for a kid? (Photo: Gene Balk/The Seattle Times)

Belltown: No place for a kid? (Photo: Gene Balk/The Seattle Times)

Starting over in a new city is stressful, even more so if you don’t have friends there already.  You have a million questions — who can you turn to for recommendations and advice?

For anyone moving to Seattle and needing information, one great resource is Reddit, the online social media community.  Seattle has one of the most active city “sub-reddits,” and newcomers often post questions for locals about life in the Emerald City.

This week, one couple who are in the process of relocating to Seattle posed an unexpected question to the Reddit community.  The couple asked for help finding a neighborhood where they won’t have to deal with kids:

We love our nieces and nephews, but call us terrible people: we don’t have kids and really would prefer to not have a lot of kids around when we are trying to relax at home…What’s a good area/apartment building that doesn’t have a lot of kids around?

Redditors were quick to let this couple know that they’re relocating to the right place.  The top-rated reply suggested that any area of the city would do: “Children aren’t illegal per se in Seattle, but having them is generally discouraged.”

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Indeed, Seattle has one of the lowest percentages of kids of any city in the U.S.  Just 16 percent of Seattle’s population is under 18, according to 2013 estimates from data provider Experian.

Still, even in Seattle, there is a wide range of childlessness from neighborhood to neighborhood.  The most child-heavy area — Laurelhurst — has 11 times the concentration of kids as Belltown, the neighborhood with the lowest percentage of children.

Redditors mostly got it right.  Four of the top five childless neighborhoods were highly recommended to the kid-averse couple: Belltown, Downtown, Lower Queen Anne and the University District.  However, nobody suggested Westlake, the No. 5 neighborhood.

And the most frequently mentioned neighborhood in the Reddit responses — Capitol Hill — has an under-18 population at 8 percent.  Not bad, but just outside the top 10.

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UPDATE

In response to feedback from readers wanting more data on neighborhoods, I’ve added this chart showing the top and bottom 10.  Click to enlarge:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

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Here is the full list of neighborhoods:

Seattle Neighborhoods, percentage of population 17 and under (PDF)

Comments | More in Demographics | Topics: demographics; children; neighborhoods

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