Date of Award
Master of Arts
Marcus Britton, Rebecca Konkel
Crime, Gentrification, Neighborhood change
Data from 247 census tracts and 592 block groups in Milwaukee, Wisconsin were analyzed to determine the extent of gentrification across Milwaukee and the effects of neighborhood change on both property and violent crime rates. The data are from 2010 and 2018 and captures the city’s transformation over the majority of the past decade. Using frequency analyses, OLS regression, spatial lag regression and spatial error regression models, the relationships between gentrification, neighborhood change and crime are assessed. Similar to other quantitative research findings, this paper found very little evidence of gentrification in Milwaukee from 2010 to 2018. Regarding the effect of neighborhood change on changes in crime, very few of the variables included in models were statistically significant. At the census-level, changes in population density, median assessed housing value, and percent of housing units that were vacant all had statistically or marginally significant effects on the changed rate of property crime. Changes in the percent of renter occupied units and the percent of the population made up by “elderly” individuals (those 60 years and older) both had statistically or marginally statistically significant effects on the changed rate of violent crime. At the block group-level, changes in median assessed housing value and the percent of the population with at least a Bachelor’s degree both had statistically significant or marginally significant effects on the change in property crime rates and changes in population density and renter populations both had statistically significant effects on the change in violent crime rate. Based on these findings, the effects of neighborhood change vary based on the type of crime and the unit of analysis at which the variables are measured. The implications of these differences are discussed at length and offer plentiful opportunities for future research.
Smith, Hannah, "Gentrification, Neighborhood Change, and Crime Across Milwaukee" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 3354.