The Sonoma County Economic Development Board has released its local economic profile projections for each city in the county – including Petaluma – and the results suggest Petaluma is getting smarter, richer and older than we ever knew.

Data points include income, population, age dispersion, residential real estate trends, consumer spending construction data and can be downloaded here. But here are the best bits provided for your convenience:

1. Our kids are smarter than they look but there’s a catch

Yep, they’re smarter than Healdsburg but dumber than Sebastopol – at least that’s what can be gleaned from their average total Scholastic Aptitude Test scores. The test, which measures college readiness and is thought to predict future academic success (whilst causing needless anxiety and consternaton), assess student ability in critical reading, writing and math with a maximum combined total of 2400 possible points. Petalumans come in at 1608, ahead of the tony wine country burg to the north (a mere 1512 – pshaw!) but below our crunchy West County neighbor to the left at 1663 (for reasons we’re probably too daft to understand).

2. Money, money, money – but here’s the thing

Perhaps it’s time to get your Affluenza shot. The percentage of households with the least amount of income (less than $15,000 per year) will drop below 10 percent and households with the most income ($200,000 or more) are expected to exceed 10 percent. The data suggests that rich people are replacing poor people in Petaluma in near equal measure, though another interpretation is that all the most cash-strapped Petalumans will go in on a winning Powerball ticket together and jump 8 income brackets in one fell swoop.

3. Everything new is old again, especially…

The town is getting older by the minute, not just by its own inception date (1858 if you gotta know) but from the cresting wave of Baby Boomers about to come crashing down like a senior tsunami. Yes, Petaluma will be flooded with oldsters (unless you believe that 65 is the new 40, which is dubious, particularly to those trying to believe that 40 is the new 25).

According to Environmental Systems Research Institute projections, one of the EDB’s sources, Petaluma’s 65 and oldest population is expected to increase the most by 2020. To wit, we can expect a decrease in individuals 10-24 and 45-64 between 2015 and 2020. So, Petaluma is less a “young and hip” scene and more of an “old and hip-replacement” scene.

What are your Petaluma predictions?

Daedalus Howell is the author of Quantum Deadline, a darkly comic sci-fi crime novel, set in Lumaville. Also, you’ll never believe the strange goings-on at

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