Kitsilano: Mostly white & childless

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As part of an ongoing series examining which Vancouver neighbourhoods have the most children, the Vancouver Sun’s Chad Skelton looked at which neighbourhoods have the most children overall.

While the Dunbar-Southlands area topped the charts with 24% of the population aged 0-18, Kitsilano fell below the city wide average of 16.8% with only 11.8% – less than 1 in 10. Only Downtown, Fairview, and the West End have less children.

In an effort to put a finger on just why Kitsilano is child-free, Skelton looked at the most common theories for what might be behind the neighbourhood gaps – income and/or ethnicity.

Skelton reports that while readers have suggested in the past that neighbourhoods with large numbers of immigrants are more likely to have more kids, that isn’t necessarily true. An interesting theory and one that the data supports for Kitsilano. Here’s the data for neighbourhood rankings by what percentage of the population are visible minorities:

Sunset: 82.6%
Victoria-Fraserview: 80.5%
Renfrew-Collingwood: 79.2%
Oakridge: 74.3%
Kensington-Cedar Cottage: 69.6%
Killarney: 67.1%
Hastings-Sunrise: 63.0%
Marpole: 62.5%
Strathcona: 55.0%
Arbutus-Ridge: 51.1%
Vancouver Total: 51.0%
Riley Park: 48.2%
Kerrisdale: 47.1%
Shaughnessy: 41.8%
Downtown: 38.8%
Mount Pleasant: 38.3%
South Cambie: 37.9%
Grandview-Woodland: 33.0%
Dunbar-Southlands: 29.3%
West End: 28.4%
Fairview: 23.7%
West Point Grey: 23.3%
Kitsilano: 16.0%

First, children aside, I found this ranking fascinating as it shows that — despite Vancouver being a “majority minority” city — there are some parts of this city that are still very white. I’m looking at you, Kitsilano.

In an effort to explain the child distribution city-wide, Skelton also compares median family income by neighbourhood. After all, raising kids ain’t cheap.

Shaughnessy: $133,346
West Point Grey: $107,074
Dunbar-Southlands: $106,179
Kerrisdale: $85,634
South Cambie: $78,097
Kitsilano: $76,390
Fairview: $75,253
Downtown: $73,197
Riley Park: $71,748
Arbutus-Ridge: $68,316
Vancouver Total: $64,007
Oakridge: $63,612
Killarney: $61,815
Hastings-Sunrise: $60,212
West End: $57,995
Victoria-Fraserview: $57,925
Sunset: $57,844
Renfrew-Collingwood: $57,278
Kensington-Cedar Cottage: $57,260
Mount Pleasant: $54,244
Marpole: $53,955
Grandview-Woodland: $50,090
Strathcona: $33,418

Skelton finally concludes that no matter how you slice the data, it’s hard to make a case that either income or ethnicity is the driving force behind where kids live.

One thing is for sure though, Kitsilano is the whitest neighbourhood in Vancouver and the baby stores along West 4th aren’t as busy as we thought.

Last modified: September 5, 2009

4 Responses to " Kitsilano: Mostly white & childless "

  1. Peter Raab says:

    Very cool data comparison Rob!

  2. gigi says:

    very interesting…not that we didnt know this already…pretty vanilla in kits (and to be honest, boring because of it)

  3. Nelson says:

    Yeah, I just moved from Kits to Collingwood/Killarney area and the mix of people is refreshing. Better restaurants and stores, in my opinion, too. (Unless your preference is to live in a neighbourhood like this: http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=37931)

  4. Frances says:

    Would you raise children in Kits?

    Oh but we do have _babies_ (but probably not as much as the baby stores in West 4th would like). The data breaks down the age groups of children and when it comes to babies, Kits doesn’t actually deviate too far from the median. http://communities.canada.com/vancouversun/blogs/parenting/archive/2009/08/06/which-vancouver-neighbourhood-has-the-most-babies.aspx

    I suspect that once the babies reach kindergarten and when the family increases even more, most people opt to move away in search of a lawn and a bigger garage.

    The Sun article makes sense in its conclusion that wherever there are single family dwellings (be that in Shaughnessy, Kerrisdale, or the suburbs), children will follow.