7. Research III

Gentrification is Rather Rare

Dramatic changes are playing out across parts of urban America, making many neighborhoods hardly recognizable from a relatively short time ago. A new class of more affluent residents and companies are moving into underinvested and predominately-poor communities. Then, development follows, typically accompanied by sharp increases in housing and living prices. This displaces longtime residents and much of the pre-existing culture. The aforementioned scenario is typically described as gentrification, and I researched what policymakers and governmental data reports on this growing dilemma.

Governing analyzed Census tract data for the nation’s 50 largest cities. The study shared that gentrification greatly accelerated in several urban cities, nearly 20% of neighborhoods with lower incomes. In 2000, this statistic was only at 9%. More, I found that gentrification is actually pretty rare nationally, with only 8% of all neighborhoods studied experiencing it. That was a surprise to me! Yet, it is understandable, it seemed more prevalent because I’ve always lived in a city highly affected by gentrification.

In all, I’ve noticed that governmental data reports seemed to distance itself from any study that wasn’t grounded in logical sense. For instance, the studies examined concrete prices and statistics related to the income, but didn’t try to quantify the loss of culture that comes from gentrification as well.


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