Spatial Patterns in Amenity Migration Indicators in Coastal Maine

Authors: Jing Yuan*, School of Computing and Information Science, University of Maine, Kate Beard, School of Computing and Information Science, University of Maine
Topics: Human-Environment Geography, Rural Geography, Coastal and Marine
Keywords: Amenity migration, Rural gentrification, American Community Survey, Spatial pattern, Cluster analysis, Social indicator, Maine, Aquaculture
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download


Gentrification is typically assessed in terms of cultural, demographic, economic, and political changes. In this paper we examine changing demographic profiles as evidence of a rural gentrification or amenity migration process in coastal Maine. Maine has long traditions supporting coastal fisheries operations and a recently expanding aquaculture industry. A question that arises is, will potential amenity migration influenced socio-economic shifts impact these operations. In this paper we seek to uncover evidence of potential amenity-driven changes that might have impacts on Maine working waterfront. We hypothesize that there is a coastal effect and that changing demographics in coastal communities show differences relative to their non-coastal counterparts. Our test population is coastal counties which we split into coastal and noncoastal towns, coastal being those with a coastal boundary. American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year estimates for two periods available for the State of Maine were used. ACS block group level data were aggregated and summarized at the town and county level. We selected 22 variables as indicators for the comparison study based on rural gentrification and amenity migration literature. When comparing at the county level, the demographic changes between the two periods for the coastal and non-coastal communities are well separated by several indicators. In addition, we observe a distinct spatial gradient along Maine’s coast. K-means cluster analysis suggests there are three distinctive clusters among towns in coastal counties: In conclusion, we do observe differences in amenity migration/gentrification related demographic and socio-economic indicators between coastal and noncoastal communities.

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