Gentrification Comparison Tool

The Gentrification Comparison Tool maps neighborhoods in 93 U.S. cities over four decades by their gentrification status under three different definitions. A complement to our 2018 report Gentrification: Framing Our Perspectives, this tool invites users to customize their view and explore how the sets of neighborhoods branded as gentrified varies by definition at a local level. 

Each definition identifies three types of neighborhoods: those that gentrified during the decade, those that were eligible to gentrify (i.e. low-income or disinvested enough) at the start of the decade but did not meet the criteria for gentrification, and those that were too high-income at the start of the decade to be able to gentrify. The data used to make these classifications for each definition are visible within the maps, so users can evaluate why some tracts appear as gentrified and others do not.


The objective of this tool is not to suggest one definition is more accurate or appropriate than the others, but instead to demonstrate how important these measures are for observing outcomes of gentrification, which in turn influence policy responses to changing conditions in low-income communities. A technical description of the analysis used to develop the tool is available below.

Instructions for customizing views:

  • Use the drop-down menus on the right to select a city and decade for analysis

  • Mouse over the maps to see how each neighborhood is classified (gentrified, eligible but not gentrified, or not eligible) and what variables were used in that determination

  • Select a tract to highlight its status across the definitions; click anywhere else on the map to undo selection

  • A table in the lower right corner calculates the number of overlapping tracts among the definitions. Click on a category to zoom to those tracts, and click again below the table to return to full extent

  • Customized zoom buttons are available in the upper left corner of the map; click the home icon to return to full extent before changing city selection

Data for the GCT are from the 1970-2010 Neighborhood Change Database, purchased under license from Geolytics, Inc., which normalizes tract-level characteristics to 2010 tract boundaries for all Decennial Census years.

Technical Appendix to the Gentrification Comparison Tool


May 19, 2019
  • Policy