Children living in the Golden Gate City may have reason to rejoice come Halloween.
San Francisco is the best city in the country for trick-or-treating, according to the annual Trick-or-Treat Index released by real estate website Zillow. The California metropolis reclaimed the top spot from Philadelphia, which this year ranked third behind San Jose, Calif. Prior to that, San Francisco had reigned supreme where candy-giving was concerned for five straight years.
The ranking was based on three main factors: home values, housing density and the share of population under 10 years old. It did not conclude that you could get better candy, per se, just posited that the chances were far higher in these cities neighborhoods with higher-income households. That, plus a higher housing density makes it easier, safer and — given the economies of scale — smarter for children to collect candy from multiple homes, the researchers added.
Rising home values have also pushed many families out of the city, as San Francisco has some of the most expensive real estate in the country — prompting younger adults to avoid the city in favor of cheaper locales. That has a knock-on effect for the children who do live there: San Francisco has the lowest percentage of children among the 100 largest cities in the U.S., according to Census data analyzed by the New York Times. So kids traipsing across San Francisco in search of candy on Oct. 31 will face far less competition than other cities.
Three other California cities — Long Beach, Los Angeles and Sacramento — featured in the top 10 for trick-or-treating. Other places that made the cut include Baltimore, Seattle, Milwaukee and Washington, D.C., based on the same criteria.
But if trick-or-treating isn’t your main interest on All Hallows Eve, then you may want to check out Burbank, Calif. The Los Angeles suburb topped Realtor.com’s list of the 10 most Halloween-ready cities last year, using criteria such as Halloween décor sales, number of parties per capita and the number of haunted houses and other attractions. Other cities on that list included Las Vegas, New Orleans, Salt Lake City and New York. (Realtor.com is operated by News Corp subsidiary Move Inc., and MarketWatch is a unit of Dow Jones, which is also a subsidiary of News Corp.)