Using PUMS to Calculate Geographic Mobility in New York City

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Culture and Social Wellbeing in New York City—2014-2017
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Arts and Humanities
Public Policy
Urban Studies and Planning
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New York City’s remarkable population growth over recent decades has heightened concerns about gentrification and displacement. In this paper, SIAP uses census data drawn from the annual American Community Survey (ACS) to identify patterns of geographic mobility common in New York City Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs) during the past decade. Major findings include: 1) New York City residents tend to move less frequently than those of other major cities; 2) the city displays two distinct dimensions of geographic mobility—one associated with high population turnover (number of residents moving in and out of a neighborhood) and a second associated with net population change (shifts in the ethnic and educational composition of the area); and 3) the presence of cultural assets in the neighborhood is associated with high turnover, but not with shifts in the ethnic and educational composition of the area. The paper concludes with observations about how these different patterns might affect residents’ experience of rapid neighborhood change.

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The paper discusses use of the ACS one-year Public Use Microdata Samples (PUMS) to assess change between 2007 and 2015 for New York City’s 55 Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs), which closely follow New York’s community board system. The public use data include a migration question that identifies both residents who lived in the same house and those who moved but remained in the same PUMA during the previous year. The paper uses SIAP’s Cultural Asset Index (CAI)—which integrates data on nonprofit cultural organizations, for-profit cultural firms, resident artists, and cultural participation in NYC—to estimate the concentration of cultural assets in New York neighborhoods and its relationship to measures of neighborhood change. The Culture and Social Wellbeing in New York City project was undertaken by SIAP in collaboration with Reinvestment Fund, a community development financial institution, with support by the Surdna Foundation, the NYC Cultural Agenda Fund in the New York Community Trust, and the University of Pennsylvania. The research was conducted between 2014 and 2017.
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