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Introduction: This report examines the impact and extent of gentrification in the Washington Heights/Inwood area – traditionally one of Manhattan’s most quintessential Latino neighborhoods.

Methods: This report uses the American Community Survey PUMS (Public Use Microdata Series) data for all years released by the Census Bureau and reorganized for public use by the Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota, IPUMSusa, (

Results: The Latino community of Washington Heights/Inwood is not being displaced in any meaningful way. While there has certainly been an increase in the number of wealthy non-Hispanic Whites over the last decade, as of 2015 Latinos maintained the same percentage of the neighborhood’s total population as they did in 1990. The Dominican population, by far the largest Latino subgroup in Washington Heights/Inwood, has actually increased in size over the twenty-five year period and (as of 2015) is still growing. What has changed is an increase in income, employment and educational levels, as well as poverty rates.

Discussion: There is evidence to suggest that the popular narrative concerning gentrification in Washington Heights and Inwood is somewhat flawed. This bastion of Latino identity in upper-Manhattan is not becoming less Latino at all. Nevertheless, it is certainly changing, and stakeholders would be wise to familiarize themselves with the specifics surrounding that change if they wish to better understand the obstacles facing New York City Latinos.


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Citation information: Cappello, L. (2019). Gentrification in Upper Manhattan? Demographic and Socioeconomic Transformations in Washington Heights/Inwood, 1990 - 2015. New York, NY: Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center.



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