Four years ago, the Oxford Dictionary added the word “fur baby” to its lexicon, underscoring the degree to which pets are now treated as children. In one major American city, it turns out they literally outnumber kids.
This report comes from Air Mail, which based its claim on 2018 U.S. Census figures for San Francisco. The figures put the number of minors at 118,362.87. According to the San Francisco Grand Jury, the city’s estimated dog population ranges from 120,000 to 500,000. National averages suggest San Francisco’s dog population may be around 232,000.
“The city’s demographic is skewing younger and richer, and people are staying single for longer, having fewer children, and procuring dogs,” according to the report. High costs of living and rent only fuel the trend.
Human children are a blessing. But San Franciscans could be making a rational calculation here. Science is clear that owning a dog can improve your health and longevity. Kids? There’s no greater reward — but they’ll age you about 30 years.