6 U.S. Cities Where More People Have Dogs Than Kids · The Wildest

Skip to main content

These U.S. Cities Have More People With Dogs Than Kids

Find out if where you live made the list.

by Sio Hornbuckle
February 27, 2024
Young handsome dog owner in a city walk with his golden retriever dog.
hobo_018 / iStock
The letter "W" from the Wildest logo

Your pet wants you to read our newsletter. (Then give them a treat.)

Sign up for product updates, offers, and learn more about The Wildest, and other Mars Petcare brands. Must be over 16 years to sign up. See our privacy statement to find out how we collect and use your data, to contact us with privacy questions or to exercise your personal data rights.

How many of your friends have kids? Now how many of your friends have a dog? We’ll give you a minute to count. If you have more friends (and acquaintances, and family, and coworkers…) asking you to dogsit than babysit, you’re not alone. Census data shows that more and more people are choosing to raise pups than kids. 

In general, young people are having fewer kids than previous generations — in 2020, birth rates hit the lowest point since 1976. At the same time, the number of dog parents is steadily climbing; over half of American households have a dog. In some parts of the country, the balance has shifted, and more people are living with pups than human children. The Economist set out to find hard data on which cities in the United States have more households with dogs than kids, and six cities made the cut. 

Cities in the U.S. with more dog parents than human parents

Using census data from 15 of the country’s largest metropolitan areas, The Economist compared the number of households with children under 18 to the number of households with pups. 

Riverside, California

Riverside came in as the number one city with more pup parents than tot parents. Fifty miles away from downtown Los Angeles, the dogs in Riverside have a little more space to roam than city dwelling pups. Almost half of the residents of Riverside have dogs, while under 40 percent have kids. 

Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix doesn’t have as many dogs — but there’s an even bigger gap between dog parents and human parents. About 45 percent of Phoenicians (they’re really called that) have dogs, while just over 30 percent have kids. 

Dallas, Texas

Coming in third, the dog vs. kid race in Dallas is a little closer. A lot of people in Dallas have dogs — over 40 percent — but almost 40 percent have kids, too. Makes sense — there’s a lot for a pup in Dallas to get up to.

Detroit, Michigan

Detroit comes in fourth. We’re guessing the “Motor City” has some well-traveled adventure pups

Seattle, WA

Seattle is the fifth most dog-obsessed city — it’s a good thing they make doggie raincoats

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philly had a tight race, too. Just over 30 percent of households in Philadelphia have dogs, and about 30 percent have kids. 

Some more fun facts

You may have heard that San Francisco has more households with kids than dogs, but The Economist didn’t back this up; San Fran came in tenth on the list after Los Angeles, and more households have kids (about 30 percent) than dogs (about 25 percent). New York City has even fewer dogs — only 22 percent of households have pups. Generally, the cities with the greatest percentage of dog parents are ones with a larger number of single-family homes. 

The Economist only measured data in metropolitan areas, so keep in mind that cities and towns with even more space (and fewer people) may give these top six a run for their money. And wherever you live, if you’re thinking of investing in kibble over formula, you’re in good company

Sio Hornbuckle

Sio Hornbuckle is a writer living in New York City with their cat, Toni Collette.

Related articles