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Rural Gentrification and intra-regional inequality, evidence from international comparative analyses

Authors: Peter Nelson*, Middlebury College, Pierre Pistre, University of Paris Diderot, Darren Smith, Loughborough University
Topics: Rural Geography, Population Geography
Keywords: Rural gentrification; regional inequality; comparative anlayses
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Since the 1990s, geographers have identified instances of gentrification transforming small towns and rural regions in the Global North – particularly in the United States and the UK, and most rural gentrification studies have relied primarily on intensive case study methodologies to highlight diverse dimensions of the process and motivations of gentrifiers. This paper draws on work completed as part of an international comparative project examining rural gentrification in the US, UK, and France. The analysis employs a more extensive research methodologies to examine the spatial extent of rural gentrification across the three counries and highlight distinct regional outcomes produced in regions where the process is most common. Results indicate rural gentrification is unevenly distributed across space. In the US, the process is most common in specific census divisions (New England, the South Atlantic, and the Mountain), yet in the UK it is overwhelmingly concentrated in the Southeast region around London. The US results further suggest that gentrification may be contributing to widening inequalities within these gentrifying regions, particularly the South Atlantic and Mountain census divisions, as economic and social assets become increasingly concentrated in areas demonstrating the strongest evidence of gentrification.

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