"Gentrification" generates buzz

A little census data can spark a big conversation. On Monday, Mike Petrilli posted a list of the twenty-five zip codes that saw the greatest increase in the white share of their population between 2000 and 2010. The neighborhoods were located in some of the usual suspects when it comes to gentrification (Brooklyn and D.C), but also included a few surprises (Chattanooga?), and writers have been quick to delve into what’s happening.

The Atlantic Cities’ Nate Berg pointed out that Roanoke, VA’s shift has more to do with development in previously lowly populated areas than gentrification and noted that the Columbus, SC zip code in question was composed entirely of post office boxes. Slate’s Matthew Yglesias discussed the implications of demographic changes for school integration.

While writers in San Diego, Dallas, and St. Paul showed interest in what was happening in their hometowns, most of the conversation centered on the two communities with the most zip codes on the list: Washington and New York. Posts from The Atlantic Wire, New York magazine, Gothamist, Business Insider, and am New York profiled the four Brooklyn neighborhoods Mike highlighted, while Washington Post blogger Mike DeBonis, DCist, and the National Journal looked into changes in the nation’s capital.

Here's hoping the conversation about how these demographic shifts will impact education continues.

Updated 6/14/12

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