Exploring Changes in Low-Income Neighborhoods in the 1990s 

Publication Date: December 2009

Publisher: Furman Center for Real Estate

Author(s): Ingrid Gould Ellen; Katherine O'Regan

Research Area: Social conditions

Keywords: Community and Economic Development

Type: Working Paper


While there has been much talk of the resurgence of lower-income urban neighborhoods in the United States over the past ten to fifteen years, there has been surprisingly little empirical examination of the extent and nature of the phenomenon. Our chapter aims to address these key questions. In the first half, we undertake a broad empirical investigation of income changes in low-income neighborhoods in U.S. cities during the 1990s, comparing them to the changes that occurred during the two previous decades. In the second half of the chapter, we explore some reasons why the fortunes of lower-income urban neighborhoods improved during the 1990s.