Manhattan neighborhoods depleted of children: report

No country for old men? Try “No borough for children.”

Only 6% of households in Hell’s Kitchen and the Financial District have a child under 18 living in them and only 7% of households in midtown, SoHo, the West Village and Gramercy have at least one kid, according to a new analysis by AddressReport.com.

The most “child friendly” neighborhoods in Manhattan were Battery Park, where 36% of households had a child, East Harlem (32%), Harlem (29%), TriBeCa (26%) and the Lower East Side (20%).

Sociologists have been long aware that NYC is riven with all kinds of racial, ethnic and economic segregation. “What this study shows is that there is significant age segregation as well,” said Donald Hernandez, a sociology professor at Hunter College.

Even the ‘hoods with the most youngsters aren’t exactly youth centers, considering that the national average of households with at least one child under 18 is 31.8%, Hernandez noted.

A lack of good, affordable family-friendly housing is one factor behind the statistics, said sociologists.

Manhattan is more a place that attracts people in the “family building stage,” said Matthew Weinshenker, an assistant professor of sociology at Fordham.

While there was no comparative data supplied to show how neighborhoods had been depleted (or filled) with children over time, Hernandez noted that Hell’s Kitchen was once a haven for immigrants who had “lots of children,” which is no longer the case. Too, Weinshenker noted “Things change: TriBeCa wouldn’t have been on this list (of having the most kids) 20 years ago.”

NYC is not alone. “It’s a widespread phenomenon — the suburbanization of American families moving out of the city is a long-term trend,” Hernandez said. But what is the future of a place with few or no children? Manhattan will still grow as people will migrate here for business and money-making opportunities in tourism and Wall Street, said the sociologists.

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