J.E. Philpot Bowie State University December 2012
Defining Gentrification as a Social Issue
Gentrification by definition is the development and redistribution of economic wealth in a community or defined area that uplifts the average household value, possibly causing unwanted displacement (Kennedy & Leonard, 2001). Some economist would define the poor as being displaced, but this process does not solely affect lower-wage residents. Gentrification affects the outlook of the entire community. Residents in middle class or non-poor communities encounter gentrification differently. The areas affected can experience diversity through change of age demographics (Ellen & O’Regan) that result in different community interest and demands. This issue alone is very broad so we try to illustrate an editorial picture of its affects, and give an understanding through methods of definition and measurement. The process of an area and neighborhood experiencing change has anything but the same outcome, but the difference starts with the community, the local government (Bounds & Morris, 2006), and the direction of both to define the wanted outcome. Every area and community has a character of residents, which starts with average income. Their income is an indicator of spending habits, education levels, careers, and possibly interest. The two living areas that gentrification has generally affected through correlation is the urban and suburban communities. The city’s development has a different approach, economic outlook, and revenue stream. The Suburban communities start with a larger land index, and economic agenda that appeals more generously to those looking to escape the city with adjusting to preferences and needs. The positive and negative effects of gentrification are known as revitalization, reinvestment, and displacement. The displacement is the cleansing process of the less educationally prepared, underfunded, and larger families (Smith & Highley, 2011) the revitalization and reinvestment process involves businesses, entertainment, demographic changes, and more usually youthful migration into the area (Bounds, 2006; Kennedy, 2001).
McKinnish, Walsh, & White (2010) notice very few studies show how gentrification happens and its effects on low-income and minority individuals. In contrast with
previous studies, researchers utilize data on the census-tract level and provide a simpler definition of gentrification. Census data is the basis of the research. The purpose of this article is to study demographic changes in neighborhoods that have experienced gentrification during the 1990s. The research uses confidential data not available to the public. Data is collected from the US Census Bureau’s Census Research Data Center (CRDC). To analyze gentrification’s impact on low-income and minority families, McKinnish et al. (2010) access the 1990 and 2000 Decennial Census Long Form data. The sample is as follows: The Long Form Data…is administered to a 1-in-6 sample of all households in the US. The samples include 14.3 million households and 38.6 million individuals in the year 1990 and 16.6 million households and 43.5 million individuals in the year 2000. (McKinnish et al., 2010, p. 182).
To measure the relationship between 1990 census tracts and 2000 census tracts, McKinnish et al. (2010) develop concordance files that overlap tracts in order to create unique neighborhood definitions, and several tracts needed to be aggregated. Census tracts are divided in to Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Areas (CMSAs). Synthetic cohorts demonstrate out-migration that Census data cannot produce samples of people that once lived in gentrified neighborhoods. Simplified geographic detail, geographic coverage, and sample size allow researchers to identify census tracts of recent inmigrants and long-time residents. Population in the tracts equals...