Gentrification in Changing Cities: Immigration, New Diversity, and Racial Inequality in Neighborhood Renewal

The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science

This article examines how the rise of immigration and its associated racial and ethnic changes relate to gentrification. In the decades following the 1965 Hart-Celler Act, gentrification has occurred more in cities with high levels of immigration and in neighborhoods with higher levels of immigrants. These relationships, however, vary by the ways in which a city is racially segregated and by the extent to which its immigrant population has been incorporated. Using crime data, surveys, and new gentrification measures, this article compares Chicago, a highly segregated city and predominantly Hispanic immigrant destination, with Seattle, a predominantly white city with high levels of Asian immigration. The findings show that immigration and its correlates have distinct and evolving relationships with neighborhood changes that are embedded in the racial and immigrant histories of each city, and that gentrification perpetuates racial and ethnic inequality in both cities.