American households are changing, becoming more unconventional -- and one of the most dramatic changes is that they're much less likely to include children. Time magazine explored "The Child-Free" life in a recent cover story that trumpeted it as perhaps the new way of "having it all," and cited a birthrate that's at its lowest point in American history: Nearly 1 in 5 women end their child-bearing years without birthing or adopting a child; in 1970 it was only 1 in 10.
Perhaps taking a cue from those statistics, Estately has taken a look at U.S. cities with unusually low numbers of minors, interviewed a handful of advocates of the kid-free lifestyle, and picked the 14 places that most suit that presumably free-wheeling way of life. The virtual real estate brokerage weighted the list in favor of cities with great nightlife, restaurants, travel options, and the kind of activities in which children aren't only not heard but not seen.
While a few towns on the list are college communities, such as Ithaca, N.Y. (No. 14), and Madison, Wis. (No. 13), also making the list were such party towns as Miami Beach (No. 12) and Las Vegas (No. 11). (Even though Sin City has a sizable population under 18, it's seen by Estately as offering easy escape from them for the "blissfully childless" by "simply by stepping into any of the city's dozens of casinos.")
Perhaps not surprisingly, Madison is the only place representing the Midwest on that list. Maybe it's because of the Heartland's image as a wholesome place to raise kids -- or not very exciting -- or maybe it's just because the 25 states in which Estately operates include only three Midwestern ones (Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin). It should be noted, however, that a city in Maine did make the list, even though it's not in Estately's service area.
See homes for sale in that town and the rest of Estately's Top 10 "Cities for Childfree Living" in the slideshow below:
BEST PLACES TO LIVE CHILD-FREE:
Top 10 Cities for Childfree Living
Top 10 Cities for Child-Free Living
Built in 1834, this $1.89 million-listed renovated two-story townhome has four sets of French doors that open to a large balcony overlooking historic Bourbon Street, where all the late-night action and parades happen. If it seems like too much house, consider that three of its four bedrooms could no doubt accommodate the guests who'll be streaming through regularly for Mardi Gras and other attractions in the Big Easy.
Listed at $599,000, this South-facing one-bedroom unit with exposed brick has city and marina views and a rooftop laundry room. Located in "the birthplace of many of our nation’s Founding Fathers, Boston is also home to many who’ve chosen not to become fathers," wrote Estately. "Only 16.8 percent of Boston’s population are children, partly because so many of the city’s professional men and women have opted not to have kids."
"Portland routinely shows up on lists of best cities for young people and hipsters, and now they’re appearing on this list of cities filled with people depriving their parents of becoming grandparents," wrote Estately. This particular three-bedroom, three-bath home for $377,000 has a master suite with views of Cascade Bay and is only minutes to downtown Portland. Yes, even dual-income earners with no kids would enjoy a home by the sea.
Not only does Pittsburgh have a very low population of minors, it's also fourth on the list of U.S. cities with the highest number of bars per capita. "With this kind of access to booze, and no responsibilities at home, it’s no wonder Pittsburgh is Business Insider‘s fourth most hungover city in America," wrote Estately.
But why go out to the bars when one could buy this two-bedroom loft-style home with an open floor plan perfect for entertaining, according to its listing video on YouTube. The second bedroom could even make a great home-office. It has natural light and soaring ceilings and is listed for $899,900.
Children make up a paltry 14 percent of the city’s population, reported Estately. "Instead of catching the colds their children bring home from preschool, residents instead catch waves at the beach." Just as they could living in walking distance to the beach with this one-bedroom, one-bath unit that's steps to the water and near Main Street.
This two-bedroom, two-bath home with 2,200 square feet might seem spacious enough for a married couple with one child, but there may not be many parents of toddlers willing to live on a floating home such as this one. Built in 2001 and listed for $595,000, the home comes with enough dock space for a good-size boat.
When it comes to places to find kids in New York City, the canyons of Manhattan are pretty barren. But the other four boroughs produce enough children to raise the city’s percentage of minors to 21.6 percent. That’s a lot higher than most cities on this list.
Even though children make up 21.6 percent of New York City's overall population, Estately decided that "New York is still a childfree paradise because there are so many places to avoid the sounds of children laughing and playing."
This one-bath efficiency on Central Park Avenue South, may have a hefty $710,000 price tag due to its ZIP Code, but for Manhattan it could still be considered a deal. Just steps to the opera and museums, this unit has a Murphy bed, a walk-in closet and a marble bath.
Washington, D.C., is the third-most-educated city in America, according to U.S. News & World Report, and also comes in third on DINKlife’s list of top 5 U.S. cities for those with a dual income and no kids.
Go all the way to the top in our nation's capital in this 2,600-square-foot penthouse on Belmont Street, which has a green roof deck and a private lap pool. It also has unobstructed views of downtown. It's listed at $3 million.
Seattle's population is only 15.4 percent children. The low birthrate actually has more to do with the high number of affluent and educated professional men and women, reports Estately. Disposable income here for those without kids and working in the technology sector might mean some can afford a higher monthly mortgage.
This $2.7 million condo sits on the 15th floor and has a spectacular view. Inside the two-bedroom, three-bath unit is a media room with projector and theater seating, perhaps perfect for catching a movie when you may not want to be bothered sitting next to a bunch of teens in a neighborhood cinema.
This one-bedroom, one-bath condo at 556 square feet, is listed for $429,000 in the Opera Plaza building, where residents can enjoy downtown skyline views from their private balcony.
Downtown San Francisco is one of the best places to shop, according to Travel.com, but the South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood, a rapidly changing part of San Francisco, has fine museums and art galleries for those looking for a quiet place to enjoy some culture while being close to the Financial District.
“San Francisco is the best city for childfree living,” Karen Foster, author of No Way Baby! Exploring, Understanding and Defending the Decision NOT to Have Children, told Estately. “I lived there from age nineteen to thirty-two and was never once asked when I was getting married and/or having babies.”