20 Best Cities for Trick or Treating

Popsicle Index: High!

Everyone goes trick or treating – or do they?  When I was a kid, my neighborhood was full of trick or treaters. These days, my parents tell me their doorbell just doesn’t ring all that much.  And yet, in some neighborhoods, trick or treating is exuberant, with loads of kids happily racing from door to door. Why is that? And where is that?

Even though parents worry about the wrong things on Halloween, it’s not surprising that kids turn out for trick or treating in neighborhoods where a high percentage of parents feel safe enough to let their kids go out alone. There’s an actual term for this that was developed by Catherine Austin Fitts, a former assistant secretary of Housing and Urban Development. It’s called “the Popsicle Index” (as in, do you let your kids go buy popsicles at the corner store). But the Popsicle Index isn’t everything. What are the best cities to live in for trick or treating? What makes a neighborhood great for trick or treating?

Richard Florida, who crunched the numbers and came up with the list, looked at the number of kids between the ages of 5-14, median income, how many people walk to work, the density of the houses, and the “Halloween spirit” factor which comes from zippy Halloween costumes. To measure that last one, Florida looked at the number of artists and self-described creative types in a given zip code.

Bridgeport-Stamford-Noarwalk, CT is at the top of the list, followed by LA-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA, and New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY.  It’d be great if everyone felt good enough about their neighbors to allow for some stomping around at twilight, but if not, there are always parades and parties to be attended.  What are your Halloween plans?


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