A study done by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia on American cities and the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, concluded that Washington D.C., Portland, Seattle, and Atlanta are the top four gentrified cities.
What We Know:
- Davin Reed, community economic development adviser at the Philadelphia Fed, along with University of Chicago researcher Quentin Brummet, analyzed central city neighborhoods in the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas in the U.S. between 2000 and 2014. His studies not only showed what cities were being gentrified the fastest, but also documented the effects of gentrification on neighborhood residents.
- Washington, D.C. showed the highest level of gentrification with 40% of low-income neighborhoods experiencing this change, and more than 20,000 people were moved out of these neighborhoods between 2000 and 2013. The study also showed that 20 percent of Seattle’s neighborhoods underwent a huge economic change.
- “We find that neighborhoods that gentrify do seem to experience greater displacement, but there are important caveats,” Reed said in an interview. “They don’t move to neighborhoods that are higher in poverty or neighborhoods that are farther from the central business district, and they don’t pay more in rents.”
- In addition, many low-income “original” residents benefited from gentrification. More exposure to higher-income neighborhoods can improve mental and physical health and increase economic opportunity and education attainment of children.
- There’s been an ongoing debate on whether building more housing, including luxury homes, will help ease the effects of displacement. Reed suggests that a combination of policies, including housing in high-demand urban neighborhoods is part of the solution. “We also talk in the paper about complementing [more housing] with other policies like more directly subsidizing certain households, you could imagine subsidizing those at greatest risk for displacement or those with children who may benefit the most by living in these neighborhoods.”
Other cities on the list include Denver, Charleston, Austin, Boston, Raleigh, and Richmond.