Unsurprisingly, Brooklyn Leads in White Influx

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Even non-demographers won't find it terribly shocking that four of the nation's 25 zip codes with the biggest white influx over the past decade are in Brooklyn, New York, the most of any single state, let alone a city.

The list, from the Fordham Institute's Michael J. Petrilli, uses census data from 2000 through 2010 (the last year it's available) to try to measure gentrification by measuring the increase in white population. After decades of coverage of Brooklyn's gentrification, Petrilli's list offers a quick reference to which parts of the borough have seen the biggest change most recently. Clinton Hill, East Williamsburg, Prospect Heights, and Bushwick, in that order, saw the borough's biggest increases in white population over the decade. 

It's an imperfect measure, as Petrilli points out: "I looked at zip codes (which isn’t perfect, because boundaries can change) and places with a large increase in the white share of the population (which isn’t perfect, because you’d really want to look at changes in income levels, but those data aren’t available yet for 2010)." As The Atlantic Cities' Nate Berg notes, the top zip code, in Columbia, South Carolina, "is for post office boxes only, so it's unlikely that change is the result of gentrification." So one has to see this metric for what it is: A quick-and-dirty data point that helps tell the story about how cities are changing.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.