There exists controversy as to the impact gentrification of cities has on the well-being of minorities. Some accuse gentrification of causing health disparities for disadvantaged minority populations residing in neighborhoods that are changing as a result of these socioeconomic shifts. Past scholarship has suggested that fears of displacement and social isolation associated with gentrification lead to poorer minority health. However, there is a lack of research that directly links gentrification to minority health outcomes. We address this gap with individual data from the 2008 Philadelphia Health Management Corporation’s Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey and census tract data from the 2000 Decennial Census and the 2006–2010 American Community Survey. We implement logistic multilevel models to determine whether and how a resident’s self-rated health is affected by gentrification of their neighborhoods. We find that while gentrification does have a marginal effect improving self-rated health for neighborhood residents overall, it leads to worse health outcomes for Blacks. Accounting for racial change, while gentrification leading to increases in White population has no measurable effect on minority health, “Black gentrification” leads to marginally worse health outcomes for Black respondents. These results demonstrate the limitations that improvements of neighborhood socioeconomic character have in offsetting minority health disparities.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Similar content being viewed by others
Barton M.An exploration of the importance of the strategy used to identify gentrification. Urban Stud. 2016; 53: 92–111. doi:10.1177/0042098014561723.
Ding L, Hwang J, Divringi E. Gentrification and Residential Mobility in Philadelphia. Philadelphia, PA: Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia; 2015.
Freeman L. Displacement or Succession?: Residential Mobility in Gentrifying Neighborhoods. Urban Aff Rev. 2005; 40(4): 463–491. doi:10.1177/1078087404273341.
Hwang J, Sampson RJ. Divergent pathways of gentrification racial inequality and the social order of renewal in Chicago neighborhoods. Am Sociol Rev. 2014; 79(4): 726–751.
Wyly E, Hammel DJ. Gentrification, Segregation, and Discrimination in the American Urban System. Environ Plan A. 2004; 36: 7. doi:10.1068/a3610.
Newman K, Wyly E. The right to stay put, revisited: Gentrification and resistance to displacement in New York city. Urban Stud. 2006; 43(1): 23–57. doi:10.1080/00420980500388710.
Kennedy M, Leonard P. Dealing with Neighborhood Change: A Primer on Gentrification and Policy Choices. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution; 2001.
Health Effects of Gentrification. Center for Disease Control; 2013. http://www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/healthtopics/gentrification.htm. Accessed March 6, 2016.
Zukin S, Trujillo V, Frase P, Jackson D, Recuber T, Walker A. New retail capital and neighborhood change: boutiques and gentrification in New York City. City Community. 2009; 8(1): 47–64.
Sullivan MD, Shaw SC. Retail Gentrification and Race: The Case of Alberta Street in Portland. Oregon Urban Aff Rev. 2011; 47(3): 413–432. doi:10.1177/1078087410393472.
Justa C. Development without Displacement: Resisting Gentrification in the Bay Area. Oakland, CA: Causa Justa::Just Cause; 2014.
Huynh M, Maroko AR. Gentrification and Preterm Birth in New York City, 2008–2010. J Urban Health. 2014; 91(1): 211–220. doi:10.1007/s11524-013-9823-x.
Subramanian S, Acevedo-Garcia D, Osypuk TL. Racial residential segregation and geographic heterogeneity in black/white disparity in poor self-rated health in the US: a multilevel statistical analysis. Soc Sci Med. 2005; 60(8): 1667–1679.
Boardman JD. Stress and physical health: the role of neighborhoods as mediating and moderating mechanisms. Soc Sci Med. 2004; 58(12): 2473–2483. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2003.09.029.
Morenoff JD, House JS, Hansen BB, Williams DR, Kaplan GA, Hunte HE. Understanding social disparities in hypertension prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control: The role of neighborhood context. Soc Sci Med. 2007; 65(9): 1853–1866. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.05.038.
Arcaya M, Brewster M, Zigler CM, Subramanian SV. Area variations in health: A spatial multilevel modeling approach. Health Place. 2012; 18(4): 824–831. doi:10.1016/j.healthplace.2012.03.010.
Alexopoulos EC, Geitona M. Self-Rated Health: Inequalities and Potential Determinants. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2009; 6(9): 2456–2469. doi:10.3390/ijerph6092456.
Jylhä M. What is self-rated health and why does it predict mortality? Towards a unified conceptual model. Soc Sci Med. 2009; 69(3): 307–316.
Prus SG. Comparing social determinants of self-rated health across the United States and Canada. Soc Sci Med. 2011; 73(1): 50–59. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.04.010.
Singh-Manoux A. What does self rated health measure? Results from the British Whitehall II and French Gazel cohort studies. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2006; 60(4): 364–372. doi:10.1136/jech.2005.039883.
Massey DS, Denton NA. American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; 1993.
Doescher MP, Saver BG, Fiscella S, Franks P. Racial/Ethnic Inequities in Continuity and Site of Care: Location, Location. Location HSR Health Serv Res. 2001; 36(6): 78–89.
Williams DR, Collins C. Racial residential segregation: a fundamental cause of racial disparities in health. Public Health Rep. 2001; 116(5): 404.
Story M, Kaphingst KM, Robinson-O’Brien R, Glanz K. Creating Healthy Food and Eating Environments: Policy and Environmental Approaches. Annu Rev Public Health. 2008; 29(1): 253–272. doi:10.1146/annurev.publhealth.29.020907.090926.
Taylor SE, Repetti RL, Seeman T. Health psychology: what is an unhealthy environment and how does it get under the skin? Annu Rev Psychol. 1997; 48(1): 411–447.
Hill TD, Ross CE, Angel RJ. Neighborhood disorder, psychophysiological distress, and health. J Health Soc Behav. 2005; 46(2): 170–186.
Ross CE, Mirowsky J. Neighborhood disadvantage, disorder, and health. J Health Soc Behav. 2001; 258–276.
Balzarini JE, Shlay AB. Gentrification and the Right to the City: Community Conflict and Casinos. J Urban Aff. 2015;Online First. doi:10.1111/juaf.12226.
Freeman L. There Goes the ’Hood: Views of Gentrification from the Ground Up. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press; 2006.
Sullivan DM. From Food Desert to Food Mirage: Race, Social Class, and Food Shopping in a Gentrifying Neighborhood. Adv Appl Sociol. 2014; 4: 30–35.
Shaw KS, Hagemans IW. “Gentrification without Displacement” and the Consequent Loss of Place: The Effects of Class Transition on Low-Income Residents of Secure Housing in Gentrifying Areas. Int J Urban Reg Res. 2015; 39: 323–341.
Anderson E. The Village Setting. In: Streetwise: Race, Class, and Change in an Urban Community. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press; 1990
Betancur J. Gentrification and Community Fabric in Chicago. Urban Stud. 2011; 48(2): 383–406. doi:10.1177/0042098009360680.
Lees L, Slater T, Wyly E. Gentrification. First. New York, NY: Routledge; 2007.
Freeman L, Braconi F. Gentrification and Displacement: New York City in the 1990s. J Am Plann Assoc. 2004; 70: 39–52.
Hwang J. The Social Construction of a Gentrifying Neighborhood Reifying and Redefining Identity and Boundaries in Inequality. Urban Aff Rev. 2015; 1078087415570643.
Zukin S. Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2010.
Patillo M. Black on the Block: The Politics of Race and Class in the City. Chicago, Illinos: University of Chicago Press; 2007.
Boyd M. The Downside of Racial Uplift: The Meaning of Gentrification in an African American Neighborhood. City Soc. 2005; 17: 265–288.
Kramer MR, Hogue CR. Is Segregation Bad for Your Health? Epidemiol Rev. 2009; 31(1): 178–194. doi:10.1093/epirev/mxp001.
Sampson RJ. Great American City: Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect. 1st ed. Chicago, Illinos: University of Chicago Press; 2012.
Bécares L, Nazroo J, Stafford M. The buffering effects of ethnic density on experienced racism and health. Health Place. 2009; 15(3): 700–708. doi:10.1016/j.healthplace.2008.10.008.
Shaw RJ, Pickett KE. The association between ethnic density and poor self-rated health among US Black and Hispanic people. Ethn Health. 2011; 16(3): 225–244. doi:10.1080/13557858.2011.561428.
Kawachi I, Kennedy BP, Glass R. Social capital and self-rated health: a contextual analysis. Am J Public Health. 1998; 89(8): 1187–1193.
Shmool JLC, Yonas MA, Newman OD, et al. Identifying Perceived Neighborhood Stressors Across Diverse Communities in New York City. Am J Community Psychol. 2015; 56(1–2): 145–155. doi:10.1007/s10464-015-9736-9.
Cutler D, Glaeser E, Vigdor J. The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto. J Polit Econ. 1999; 107(3):455–506. doi:10.1086/250069
Gibbons J, Yang T-C. Self-Rated Health and Residential Segregation: How Does Race/Ethnicity Matter? J Urban Health. 2014; 91(4): 648–660. doi:10.1007/s11524-013-9863-2.
PHMC. Household Health Survey Documentation. Philadelphia, PA: Public Health Management Corporation; 2010: 2010.
Dean L, Subramanian SV, Williams DR, Armstrong K, Charles CZ, Kawachi I. The role of social capital in African–American women’s use of mammography. Soc Sci Med. 2014; 104: 148–156. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.11.057.
Gibbons J, Yang T-C. Connecting Across the Divides of Race/Ethnicity: How Does Segregation Matter? Urban Aff Rev. 2015;Online First:1–28. doi:DOI: 10.1177/1078087415589193.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Atlanta, GA: Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2010.
About this article
Cite this article
Gibbons, J., Barton, M.S. The Association of Minority Self-Rated Health with Black versus White Gentrification. J Urban Health 93, 909–922 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11524-016-0087-0