A new report and accompanying map finds extreme gentrification in a few cities, but the dominant trend—particularly in the suburbs—is the concentration of low-income population.
“Displacement is happening at a regional level in Los Angeles, New Orleans, and New York City. But Washington, D.C. tops the list.”
To keep it simple, Stancil examined all census tracts (not just the low-income ones previous studies have deemed “eligible” to gentrify). He measured whether they have gained or lost low-income and/or “non-low-income” residents between 2000 and 2016. (Here, “low-income” is defined as people below 200 percent of federal poverty line; “non-low-income” is everyone else.)
Based on what he found, he came up with four color-coded categories of neighborhood change, seen in the grid below: The column on the left showcases the two types of economic expansion or gentrification, and the one of the right, the two types of decline.
The biggest takeaway: The most common type of change in the U.S. over the last two decades has been poverty concentration—and it affects low-income Americans, in particular. As of 2016, there is “no metropolitan region in the nation where a low-income person was more likely to live in an economically expanding neighborhood than an economically declining neighborhood,” the report reads.
Poverty concentration has unsurprisingly been most dire in the Rust Belt. In Detroit (shown in the map below) almost half the residents were living in areas where poverty has been compounding. Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Chicago are examples of cities that have experienced similar change.