Skip to:
  1. Main navigation
  2. Main content
  3. Footer
Press Release

Gentrification; demographics of downtown residents; workforce development: Cleveland Fed researchers

Neighborhoods close to downtowns have become higher income, better educated, more likely to be white, says Cleveland Fed researcher

Since 1980 (with the pace accelerating since 2000), the residents of neighborhoods in and near downtown areas in medium and large U.S. cities have become higher income, better educated, and more likely to be white, on average, according to Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland economist Daniel Hartley and Nathaniel Baum-Snow, a professor at Brown University.

Using a socioeconomic status (SES) index they created, which combines income, education, and race, the researchers find that the following cities have the largest shares of central-area residents with high SES in 2010: New York City, Santa Barbara, Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte, Chicago, Houston, Orlando, and Washington. For all but Santa Barbara, this reflects a striking change from 1980.

The researchers say these changes in neighborhood choices may be driven by increases in the sizes of higher SES demographic groups, like the college educated, or by increases in demand for these neighborhoods by certain high-SES demographic groups.

Read Demographic Changes in and near U.S. Downtowns 

Interest in gentrification is at an all-time high, but determining what differentiates it from reinvestment and revitalization isn’t easy, says Cleveland Fed policy analyst

Interest in gentrification has increased, because of a confluence of regional housing dynamics and particular urban policy efforts, says Kyle Fee, a senior policy analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Writing in the Bank’s Forefront magazine, Fee discusses:

  • Why gentrification is such a hot topic
  • How gentrification differs from revitalization and reinvestment
  • Some positive and negative outcomes related to gentrification
  • The difficulties in identifying whether or not a neighborhood has gentrified
  • Whether it’s possible to identify in real time, neighborhoods that may gentrify in the next 5-10 years
  • What can be done to ensure that affordable housing is in the best position to be preserved

Read Gentrification: What’s in a Name?;

The Federal Reserve is focused on workforce development; a Cleveland Fed policy analyst explains why

Forefront also highlights another hot topic: workforce development. An infographic that focuses on the share of the long-term unemployed and poverty rates in the Cleveland Fed’s district – Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia – shows why workforce development efforts are needed. And Cleveland Fed policy analyst Kyle Fee explains why the Federal Reserve is committed to those efforts.

Check out Focused on the Workforce … But Why?

If you’re interested in these and other issues related to community development, you’ll want to attend the Cleveland Fed's Policy Summit on Housing, Human Capital, and Inequality in Pittsburgh on June 18-19, 2015. Fee, Hartley, and Baum-Snow are among the more than 50 conference moderators and presenters. Members of the news media may attend the summit free of charge, but must register in advance. (Journalists will need to select “Check” as the payment option and "Media" as the attendee type in order to register, but will not be billed. Those interested in joining the optional tour of Pittsburgh’s East Liberty neighborhood will need to register for that separately. Please note that seats for the tour are limited and will be filled on a first come, first served basis.)

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that along with the Board of Governors in Washington DC comprise the Federal Reserve System. Part of the US central bank, the Cleveland Fed participates in the formulation of our nation’s monetary policy, supervises banking organizations, provides payment and other services to financial institutions and to the US Treasury, and performs many activities that support Federal Reserve operations System-wide. In addition, the Bank supports the well-being of communities across the Fourth Federal Reserve District through a wide array of research, outreach, and educational activities.

The Cleveland Fed, with branches in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, serves an area that comprises Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

Media contact

Doug Campbell,, 513.218.1892