Impact of Neighborhood Change

With improved economies and dramatically decreased crime rates, the quality of many urban neighborhoods throughout the country is quite different now than it was 10 or 20 years ago. For example, New York City has experienced a steady decrease in crime, including a 69% drop in murder and a 66% drop in overall crime since 1993 (NYPD CompStat Unit, 2004). Very little work has been done on how the changing demographics and social characteristics of a neighborhood impact its residents. In a rigorous examination of census data over three decades, Morenoff and Sampson (1997) found that rates of homicide in a community predict rates of population loss over time, with neighborhoods characterized by violence and disadvantage tending to lose population of all race-ethnicity groups. However, how neighborhood change impacts individual child or family outcomes is a topic ripe for future research.

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