How and Why Phoenix Households Changed: 1970-1980

Patricia Gober

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


American households changed dramatically in size and composition during the 1970s. This paper examines the spatial properties of these changes at the census tract level in metropolitan Phoenix. Research questions center on where, why, and how households change in an urban context. Findings indicate a high degree of diversity in the extent and nature of household change across 189 census tracts. This diversity was explained, in part, by age and type of housing and by minority status of area residents. The study also revealed that high levels of household change occurred in conjunction with both high and low rates of population turnover. Residential mobility was, under certain circumstances, the dominant vehicle for household change, whereas under different conditions it was the mechanism for maintaining a constant household structure. Little household change under conditions of high turnover occurred in older, multiple-family housing where stability in household structure was achieved by high “throughput” of neighborhood residents. Areas dominated by minorities experienced smaller overall changes in composition, greater shifts toward nontraditional families, and smaller shifts toward nonfamilies than did white-Anglo areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)536-549
Number of pages14
JournalAnnals of the Association of American Geographers
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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