Gateways to Opportunity? Neighborhood Trajectories of Massachusetts Residents Gateways to Opportunity? Neighborhood Trajectories of Massachusetts Residents

By Madeleine I. G. Daepp, Erin Michelle Graves, and Mariana C. Arcaya

Residents of high-poverty neighborhoods have disproportionately suffered adverse health, social, and economic effects of COVID-19. This brief offers insight into pre-pandemic conditions in high-poverty neighborhoods in Massachusetts, and in the gateway cities in particular, by describing differences in residential mobility and how this relates to exposure to neighborhood poverty from 2000 to 2016. We tracked residents who moved from high-poverty neighborhoods and found that while the majority of gateway city residents moved to lower-poverty neighborhoods, they did so less frequently than residents of high-poverty neighborhoods in the city of Boston or elsewhere in the state. The brief further considers both the research and the policy implications of our findings, particularly in light of the recent impacts of the pandemic on the gateway cities. We detail how our research can take a people-focused approach to placed-based interventions, including those that might occur in the post-pandemic period.