In the December 21, 2018 issue of Community Impact Plano edition, the front page article was titled “From teens to mid-30s, Plano sees youth dip.” According to the article Plano’s young adult population (20-29) is about 12%. Allen and McKinney are at 11%. Dallas has the highest at 18%, which Community Impact seems to be envious of. I just have two questions in regards to this article, SO WHAT? What is the problem?
It is very normal for large urban cities like Dallas to have more young adults than its suburban neighbors. Traditionally when kids turn 18 they leave their childhood suburban home for college. They spend most of their early twenties away from home. After graduation one of three things happens. One, they find a job and get their own place. Two, they find a job but can’t afford to live on their own, so they live with mom and dad until they can. Or, three, it’s a parent’s nightmare become reality. Their adult kid can’t find a job, has to live at home, and mooches off of them. In some states like NY, the cost of living is too high for young adults to live on their own, so they are stuck at home with mom and dad. Due to the free market policies of our state government, TX has a great economy and low cost of living. Therefore, most of our young adults can get a job and afford to live on their own.
Where do these young adults who are just starting out typically choose to live? Normally apartments in large urban cities. They might live alone or with a roommate. Since they typically are not married with children, they don’t need a house. They probably can’t afford or want to be bothered with the maintenance of a house either. Most young adults also want to be near action and nightlife. They have the time and energy to stay out all night at clubs and bars. Typically young adults don’t want the quiet life of the suburbs.
So, who traditionally lives in the suburbs? Simple; married people in their late 30s with children. Folks who move to the suburbs typically want a house to raise children in. They want their kids to go to good schools, play in a backyard, or swim in their pool. Friday night out for them consists of going to watch their kid play football. These folks want a more quiet life.
There is nothing wrong with young adults choosing to live in large cities while married people with children live in the suburbs; it is natural. Community Impact should not make it seem like something is wrong with this natural phenomenon. The fact they think that something is odd about this makes me suspicious. Are they trying to plant a seed in city staff and council members heads that Plano needs to have things that attract people in their 20s to it? That would mean having builders building cheap small apartments, bars, and night clubs that are open all night. That means making Plano into Dallas. Most people who currently live here don’t want that. If they did, they would live in Dallas. Plano has been a suburb for decades. That has attracted hundreds of thousands of people to it. Those who move here typically stay here through old age. Therefore, People should stop trying to make Plano into something it is not. If they don’t they will drive away those who came for what it is. Plano is great being a suburb. If it was not, people would not live here.
This is Plano’s Political Pit Bull signing off.