Shifting and Persisting Neighborhood Hierarchies: Immigrant Influx and the Spread of Gentrification in the Twenty-First Century

Jackelyn Hwang , Stanford University

As gentrification has spread across cities, the growth of new immigrants and shifting patterns of immigrant settlement and profiles have reshaped metropolitan contexts. Analysis of US Census and American Community Survey data from 1990-2014 shows a negative relationship during the 1990s but a positive relationship after 2000 between immigration and the prevalence of gentrification across cities. At the neighborhood-level, we find limited preferences for diversity such that the influx of immigrants in black neighborhoods is associated with increased odds of gentrification but decreased odds in other neighborhood ethnoracial compositions. We also find that, in high immigration cities, neighborhoods with low levels of immigrant influx are also more likely to gentrify. Together, these dynamics explain the higher likelihood of gentrification in predominantly black neighborhoods during the 2000s relative to other neighborhoods. The findings suggest that new patterns of residential stratification underlie urban change in the twenty-first century while old mechanisms persist.

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 Presented in Session 3. Change and Stability in American Neighborhood