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The other day, I posted a list of the 25 “fastest-gentrifying” zip codes in the U.S.—a list that generated a great deal of commentary. Now I’m back with a new, improved, and expanded list; give it a look and let me know what patterns jump out at you.
With the new list, I’ve tried to address several complaints that readers lodged against me (and the post), most of them fair. First, many were upset that I equated “gentrification” with a significant increase in the white share of a neighborhood’s population. In my defense, I did admit that looking at the numbers by race was far from perfect—gentrification is a socio-economic issue—but census income data by zip code are not yet available for 2010. Still, I chose to use the “gentrification” word, and it’s reasonable to point out its inaccuracy. (I didn’t even contemplate using the term “whitened”—what is this, Crest Toothpaste?—as some in the media did.)
Second, I failed to look at the population numbers for these zip codes, and as a result I included several that had tiny populations—phantom zip codes really. That included Columbia (SC)’s 29202, Chicago’s 60604, Roanoke’s 24011, and Dallas’s 75247, all of which had 2010 populations of less than 1,000. That was a rookie mistake.
So with the new list, I’ve filtered out those four tiny zip codes, and I’ve also provided an important piece of context: The percentage change in the total population from 2000 to 2010. This can help us determine whether a long-standing residential neighborhood has experienced significant demographic change (what might typically be termed gentrification or displacement) or else is home to the redevelopment of formerly empty or commercial land (what might be called urban revitalization).
Now, here’s what jumps out at me:
View 50 ZIP codes with greatest white population increases in a larger map