The Fastest gentrifying cities in America

The Land that Black people in America is generally the cheapest



1. Portland, Ore. (53.1 percent of eligible neighborhoods gentrified)


2. Washington, D.C. (51.9 percent)

Recent conversations around gentrification in D.C. have taken a familiar turn, with some arguing that it has, in fact, been a good thing for the region’s original residents. NPR claims that gentrification not only doesn’t increase the likelihood that lower-income occupants will move out of a neighborhood, but that those who do stay reap benefits, ranging from “new parks” and “safer streets” to higher credit scores.

Of course, it stands to reason that those who can afford to stick around as an area gentrifies are richly rewarded. But even if this were the case across the board, we should be concerned that the most dependable way to ensure economic and infrastructural investment in struggling, low-income and, most importantly, black neighborhoods (such as Anacostia, Deanwood and Columbia Heights) is to have white people with money move into them.

Where are they going : PG County

3. Minneapolis, Minn. (50.6 percent)

4. Seattle, Wa.  (50 percent)

A small act of civic defiance occurred in Capitol Hill this February. A pair of masked individuals blocked a Microsoft employee bus on its way to the office, brandishing a sign that read “Gentrification stops here.” The move came in response to a pattern that’s defined the city for years, according to the Seattle Times: With a home price turnaround rate of 55%, the Pacific Northwestern metropolis was the second most drastically gentrified city in the U.S. between 2000 and 2007.

Neighborhoods from Ballard in the north to Delridge in the south have seen dramatic shifts of late. Law professor and longtime Seattle resident Henry W. McGee Jr. specifically articulates the fate of the Central District, once home to Seattle’s small black population, where in 2000 the number of white residents surpassed the number of black residents for the first time in 30 years.

“What is clear is that thousands of African-Americans have been displaced from the city’s oldest identifiably African-American community,” he writes.

The reasons are multipronged, but the fact that black applicants in Seattle are 2.56 times more likely to be denied a conventional mortgage loan than whites, in addition to being more likely to pay higher rates, isn’t helping.


5. Atlanta, Ga. (46.2 percent)


Where are they going : South Fulton County


6. Virginia Beach, Va. (42.1 percent)

Virginia Beach, VA

7. Denver, Colo. (39.7 percent)

Denver, CO

8. Austin, Texas (30 percent)


Austin, TX

9. Sacramento, Calif. (29.8 percent)

Sacramento, CA

10. New York, N.Y. (29.3 percent)

Perhaps no city more thoroughly dominates modern conversations around gentrification than New York. Whether it’s Spike Lee bemoaning the sudden influx of resources into neighborhoods like Harlem, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights since white people moved in, or new Fort Greene residents complaining about homeless people being mean to their dogs in the local park, gentrification stories ranging from bad to awful abound. Today, New York City is the most expensive metropolitan area in the U.S.


Where are they going: The Bronx



Longer Work longer hours


One of the simplest ways to control commuting is to live close to work, which for skilled workers may mean the city center. There, by definition, land is scarce and higher demand translates into higher land rents. In time, local amenities adjust, boosting the attractiveness of the locality, further fueling the gentrification process.

In the 1950s and 1960s, when a man with a good job probably had a wife at home with the kids, the commute to the suburbs wasn’t such a big deal. If dad had to stay late at work, or wanted to stay in the city for a drink after work, mom would be home with the kids. These days, it’s more likely that both parents are at work, which makes it more important that home is close to work.

The authors also found that skilled workers are more likely to work in the central business district of a city, while “unskilled jobs, on the other hand, are more dispersed and increasingly so.” The poor, displaced by increasing rents, are moving to the suburbs. Some are finding jobs there, others are forced to deal with the commutes that the rich have rejected.

This is primarily a story about time: Skilled workers, somewhat paradoxically, areworking more than their unskilled counterparts. So gentrification becomes about moving to try to maximize the leisure time they have in the fraction of their lives that isn’t spent sitting at a desk.

But this is also a story about transportation and density, two things that American cities are notoriously poor at managing. If we built higher, more people could live closer to work for cheaper (empty foreign real estate purchases in New York aside). Similarly, if there were better public transportation from the city peripheries, there would be less need for the wealthy to crowd into the city centers.

The authors suggest this might be why Japan and South Korea, despite having a lot of the same working conditions, haven’t seen a lot of urban gentrification.

Then again, maybe the key to stemming gentrification is just for everyone to agree to work less.







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