Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity Releases Major Study on Neighborhood Change

April 25, 2019

A study of neighborhood change across America recently released by the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity shows that poverty concentration and neighborhood decline are occurring more frequently in American cities than gentrification and displacement of low-income families. It also finds that decline is strongly associated with white flight and concentration of families of color.

The study, entitled “American Neighborhood Change in the 21st Century,” is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of how American cities have evolved since 2000. Findings for the 50 largest metropolitan areas include:

  • The most common form of American neighborhood change, by far, is poverty concentration.
  • At the metropolitan level, low-income residents are invariably exposed to neighborhood decline more than gentrification.
  • Low-income displacement is the predominant trend in a limited set of central cities, primarily located on the eastern and western coasts. Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. have the most widespread displacement.
  • On net, far fewer low-income residents are affected by displacement than concentration.
  • White flight corresponds strongly with neighborhood change.
  • Nonwhite residents are far more likely to live in economically declining areas.

However, these findings only scrape the surface of the study. The full study includes a plethora of resources for analyzing neighborhood change, designed to be easily interpreted by policymakers and residents alike.

All components of the study can be accessed on the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity website.

For more news coverage on the study, see “From Gentrification to Decline: How Neighborhoods Really Change.” (CityLab)

Professor Myron Orfield, director of the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity
Professor Myron Orfield, director of the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity

Contact Information

University of Minnesota Law School

Walter F. Mondale Hall | 229 19th Avenue South | Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-625-5000

Email Us

Connect on Social Media