Millennials and Gentrification

In the past gentrification had a sour racist undertone conjuring visions of lily white suburbanites invading hard won enclaves of urban life, just when the neighborhoods had recovered from crime and systemic neglect because those who lived there were not of the tax bracket that paid for politicians re-elections. The invasion would begin.

Gentrification takes place when middle and upper-income people move into low-income communities, which ushers in economic change, reinvestment and development. Gentrification in the millennial, age is  different only in that it is much more diverse. It can be said the millennials more than any other group of recent years have contributed social and economic vitality to the inner city  even more astounding is that it has been done with inclusivity of all races. With demographics reflecting over 44 percent minority presence, millennials are the most diverse adult generation in American history.

This shows also in the waves of them entering key cities around the nation to vie for tech jobs, green spaces. refurbished warehouse condos and artist lofts. According to a Brookings (US Census) analysis “… three-fifths of millennials residing in core urban counties are racial minorities, more than a quarter are Hispanic, 18 percent are black, and the rest other races…largely inner-suburb millennials are only slightly less white—52 percent—than the national millennial population.” Also “When it comes to contributions to the growth of millennial-aged 18-34 year old populations in metropolitan areas in 2017, racial minorities take a more dominant role.

Of the 100 metropolitan areas in which young adult populations grew minorities contributed more than three quarters of that growth in 51 of them and more than half of the growth in 95 of those areas! According to 2018 Pew Center research data almost all millennials accept interracial dating and marriage. Also intermarriage is generally more common in metropolitan areas than in more rural locales. Attitudes, migration patterns, availability of partners and education are all factors of interracial and inter-ethnic marriages so when urban areas gentrify we find a significant portion of the population that is younger and of color remain through purchases and remodeling single family structures to become landlords while the elders retire to a different location.

Forced displacement adversely affects the indigent elderly and youth under 18 more than any other demographic. In the past systematic incarceration of young black men, combined with higher death rates contributed to black women being much less likely to get married than women of other races or ethnicities in the US. So they were the predominant targets of displacement.

This has changed drastically as the affect of the opioid epidemic and the surge in the selection of HBCU’s by black women as the primary resource for higher educaton has made them the fastest growing demographic for college degrees and upward mobility. Also the incarceration rate for black women lowered by 50% while the rate for white women has risen by 45%!

”This new demographic of single millennials of color shines nowhere brighter than in cities like Orlando, and Miami, in which upper class and affluent African Americans revitalized formerly blighted areas which were once Historically African American communities. In the Orlando Parramore district they relocated FAMU (an HBCU) Law School, renovated an African American history Museum, built a mixed income housing complex, and relocated the Orlando Magic stadium.

The new urban middle class regardless of color go to the same upscale eateries, grocery shops, and clothing stores that underclass residents had been priced out of. In 2018, 22 percent of new marriages in metropolitan areas were interracial, compared with 12 percent of newlyweds outside of metropolitan areas. The rates were highest in Honolulu (43 percent), Las Vegas (31 percent), and Santa Barbara, and Fayettville (30 percent). It looks like the face of gentrification has changed but its positive and negative results seem to remain the same.

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