Mapping Displacement and Gentrification in the San Francisco Bay Area

Northern California’s booming jobs and housing market necessitates a careful look at the causes and consequences of neighborhood change to protect residents that are most vulnerable to potentially being displaced. Wages of low income residents have not kept pace with the sky-rocketing housing prices resulting in massive demographic shifts in the mega-region, from San Francisco to Sacramento.

In 2015, 62% of low income households across this thirteen-county region live in neighborhoods at risk of or already experiencing displacement– totalling over 900,000 low-income households. Nearly half of those households live in neighborhood at risk.

  • Between 2013 and 2015 maps, the rate of gentrification and displacement accelerated most quickly in Oakland’s neighborhoods and exclusion advanced the fastest in San Francisco’s neighborhoods.
  • In our updated maps, we categorize moderate and high-income neighborhoods according to their level of exclusion. Neighborhoods are categorized as exclusionary when rents are so expensive that low-income people are excluded from moving in, which results in another form of displacement. We found that moderate and high-income neighborhoods lost 40% more low-income households than more inexpensive neighborhoods, suggesting that exclusion is more prevalent than gentrification.
  • Communities that are typically regarded as receiving those displaced from major cities, such as Pittsburg and Antioch, are often not seen as facing displacement risks. The maps show that some of these communities are indeed undergoing their own displacement processes in what might be seen as a “ripple effect.”