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Gentrification and the Persistence of Poor Minority Neighborhoods

A new study finds that neighborhoods that are more than 40 percent black are far less likely to gentrify.
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Eric Allix Rogers/Flickr

There is no more highly contentious issue among those of us who spend their time thinking about the future of cities than gentrification.

Its progress has been massively uneven, as change has tended to concentrate in large, knowledge-based cities like New York, L.A., Chicago, D.C., Boston, and San Francisco—with much less movement in older Rustbelt or sprawling Sunbelt cities, according to a Cleveland Fed study I wrote about last fall. Another recent study found that, for every single neighborhood that's gentrified since 1970, 10 have remained poor and another 12 have slipped into poverty.