Who gentrifies low-income neighborhoods?
This paper uses confidential Census data, specifically the 1990 and 2000 Census Long Form data, to study demographic processes in neighborhoods that gentrified during the 1990s. In contrast to previous studies, the analysis is conducted at the more refined census-tract level, with a narrower definition of gentrification and more closely matched comparison neighborhoods. Furthermore, our access to individual-level data with census tract identifiers allows us to separately identify recent in-migrants and long-term residents. Our results indicate that, on average, the demographic flows associated with the gentrification of urban neighborhoods during the 1990s are not consistent with displacement and harm to minority households. In fact, taken as a whole, our results suggest that gentrification of predominantly black neighborhoods creates neighborhoods that are attractive to middle-class black households.
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