The Diversity of Gentrification: Multiple Forms of Gentrification in Minneapolis and St. Paul

The Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) is proud to release our study of gentrification in Minneapolis and St. Paul between 2000 and 2015. The Diversity of Gentrification: Multiple Forms of Gentrification in Minneapolis and St. Paul by Dr. Edward G. Goetz, Dr. Brittany Lewis, Anthony Damiano, and Molly Calhoun used a mixed methods approach that combines a statistical analysis of neighborhood-level data with an in-depth qualitative analysis of interviews with public officials, community leaders, and neighborhood residents. The study found significant evidence of gentrification in the two cities.

The full report includes an executive summary, gentrification definition, Minneapolis–St. Paul context, research design and results for the quantitative and qualitative research, and community-based antigentrification policy approaches. Below are the key results from the study.

Key Quantitative Results:

  • All gentrifying neighborhoods saw increases in the population with bachelor’s degrees at rates far exceeding the citywide trends, while racial change was inconsistent.
  • Gentrification was accompanied by increasing inequality. Incomes for the top 10% of households in gentrifying neighborhoods increased by almost 15% compared to a decline of 5% for affluent households in vulnerable areas that did not gentrify. 
  • Housing costs for both renters and owners increased at much higher rates in gentrifying neighborhoods between 2000 and 2015. Median home values in gentrifying neighborhoods increased by 31% compared to 13% in non-gentrifying neighborhoods.
  • Four types of gentrification occurred between 2000 and 2015. Two of the types conform to the “classic” model of gentrification in which incomes rise, housing costs skyrocket, and socioeconomic status (SES) also increases significantly. Minneapolis and St. Paul have seen two versions of this model, one that includes large reductions in the black population and one that does not. There is another pattern of gentrification in which median incomes declined and poverty increased, while at the same time housing costs increased and SES increased. There are two racial versions of this model, too; one in which the black population increased significantly and one in which no significant change occurred.

Key Qualitative Results:

  • There were four common themes in the interviews with neighborhood residents and business people in the five neighborhood clusters of Minneapolis and St. Paul: presence of whiteness, housing affordability, business turnover, and displacement fears.
  • Though there were commonalities across the clusters, the interviews simultaneously made it clear that the processes of change producing these outcomes were importantly different from one neighborhood cluster to another.

Policy Approaches:

  • The report also reports the antigentrification work of 10 local, community-based organizations that support more equitable development, redirect resources to build the economic and political power for community control, and shift narratives about people and communities to legitimize self-determination for low-wealth communities and communities of color in the path of gentrification.

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Special CURA Housing Forum “Community-Based Antigentrification Policy Approaches”

Friday, March 1, 2019

Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey Center
301 19th Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN, 55455


A unique aspect of CURA’s study The Diversity of Gentrification is the policy approaches section that highlights grassroots, community-based efforts that aim to build power among those directly affected by the realities of gentrification and its pressures. In this section we identified organizations that have been critical to the local grassroots effort in the Twin Cities to mitigate the negative impacts of gentrification.

For this CURA Housing Forum we have invited representatives from four of these organizations to share their experiences and knowledge including African Career, Education, and Resource (ACER); Frogtown Neighborhood Association (FNA); Inquilinxs Unidxs por Justicia; and West Side Community Organization (WSCO). The event will feature a moderated panel discussion and time for questions and answers from the audience.