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Map: Gentrification is the least of the Twin Cities’ worries

An Oregon-based non-profit that focuses on data-driven analysis of urban issues thinks city dwellers across the United States spend too much time worrying about gentrification — and not enough about poverty.

City Observatory’s recently published analysis of Census data for the 51 largest U.S. Metropolitan areas, including the Twin Cities, shows that there is very little change in poverty in most impoverished neighborhoods since 1970.

“A few places have gentrified, experienced a reduction in poverty and generated net population growth,” concluded the report, "Lost In Place." “But those areas that don’t rebound don’t remain stable: they deteriorate, lose population, and overwhelmingly remain high-poverty neighborhoods.”

A map visualizing the study’s findings for the Twin Cities can be found below. The one area in the metro that looks like an example of gentrification, described in the study as a “rebounded” area, is the North Loop of Minneapolis. But a closer look reveals that the North Loop's transformation isn’t an example of wealthier people replacing poorer people, but rather the development of a residential neighborhood in a previously commercial area. The full report can be found here:

Minneapolis Warehouse District thumbnail photo by Flickr user Jay[N] and used under Creative Commons license.

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Matt Haas on 12/22/2014 - 10:43 am.

    Point taken

    But is there a similar map to show where the wealthy might be displacing those of middle income?

  2. Submitted by Bill Lindeke on 12/22/2014 - 01:52 pm.

    this is an important conversation

    I often think that frustrating gentrification conversations should instead focus on poverty. For example, we need affordable housing, a decent education, and access to jobs for poor people, and whether or not there’s development on University Avenue does not and will not change that more fundamental problem.

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