New Data Confirm Low Number of Children in Multifamily Homes
A new report from NAHB researchers confirms that there are considerably fewer children per unit in multifamily housing than in single-family detached homes.
There are 32.6 school-age children per 100 households in multifamily structures, compared to 58.8 in single-family detached homes, 42.9 in single-family attached homes and 50.2 in manufactured housing units, the study found.
“A traditional explanation for the differences is that families with children have a preference toward homes with backyards that the children can play in,” the researchers said.
The report follows up on results published in NAHB’s Multifamily Market Outlook in 2004 that were based on the HUD/Census Bureau American Housing Survey, which is published every other year. The latest research was derived from data in the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, which comes out every year.
Among other findings in the recent study:
- Among multifamily buildings, larger apartment buildings tend to have fewer school-age children on average than small, garden-style apartments. There are about 43.1 school-age children per 100 households in structures with two to four units, compared to 33.1 in multifamily structures with five to 19 units and 20.8 in structures with 20 or more units.
- Renters have more children than owners, but the magnitude of the difference variers by structure type. In multifamily buildings with two to four units, there are 45.1 school-age children per 100 renter households and only 34.9 per 100 owner households. In multifamily buildings with five to 19 units, the numbers are 35.4 per 100 renter households versus 14.3 per 100 owner households. Fewer school-age children are found in buildings with 20 or more units. A similar pattern occurs in other structural types such as single-family detached, single-family attached and manufactured housing.
- In multifamily structures, households that stay put tend to have more school-age children than households that have recently moved in. This is not true for other structure types, however. Recent movers into single-family detached homes have, on average, 67.9 school-age children per 100, which is much larger than the 57.9 per 100 non-movers in single-family detached homes.
- The highest number of children per 100 households is 90.8, which is found among households that have recently moved into newly constructed single-family detached rental units. The lowest number is 3.2 for newly constructed condominiums with 20 or more units.
The findings are especially relevant to making projections for education budgets. Across all local governments in the U.S., the expenditure on public education is about $433 billion — far more than other major categories such as social services, utilities, public safety and transportation.
“When local governments make plans for new residential development, it is important that they take these factors into consideration when estimating the impact on their education budgets,” the report says.
“To get a complete picture of the budgetary impacts, local governments should also take the benefits of new construction — including income and jobs for local residents, as well as increased taxes and other forms of government revenue — into account," the researchers say.
Estimates of these local economic benefits for general multifamily housing in a typical metropolitan area were last published in the October 2005 issue of Multifamily Market Outlook. Estimates of the benefits of tax-credit multifamily development were last published in the October 2007 issue.
For more information, e-mail Paul Emrath at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8449.