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There is inconsistent evidence as to whether gentrification, the increase of affluent residents into low-income neighborhoods, is detrimental to health. To date, there is no systematic evidence on how gentrification may matter for a range of birth outcomes across cities with varying characteristics. We utilize California's Birth Cohort File (2009-2012), Decennial Census data, and the American Community Survey (2008-2012) to investigate the relationship of gentrification to: preterm birth, low birthweight, and small-for-gestational-age across California. We find that socioeconomic gentrification is uniformly associated with better birth outcomes. Notably, however, we find that only places specifically experiencing increases in non-White gentrification had this positive impact. These associations vary somewhat by maternal characteristics and by type of gentrification measure utilized; discrepancies between alternative measurement strategies are explored. This study provides evidence that socioeconomic gentrification is positively related to birth outcomes and the race-ethnic character of gentrification matters, emphasizing the continued need to examine how gentrification may impact a range of health and social outcomes.


Audrey N Beck, Kyla Thomas, Brian K Finch, Joseph Gibbons. Determining Gentrification's Relationship to Birth Outcomes in Metropolitan California. Housing policy debate. 2023;33(1):107-128

PMID: 37275319

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