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Airbnb and the City

Chicago Business Journal reported on the surge in Airbnb rentals 2015 nearly doubling the previous year. Taking a minute to look at the data, I mapped how quickly it grew from single digit rentals in the city eight years ago to nearly six thousand in total since.

The final density plot shows the five key neighborhoods for the city (Streeterville, Lincoln Park, Logan Square, West Loop and Wicker Park).

The above listings reside in over fifty zip codes. Thanks to the American Community Survey we have some idea of demographics of these areas including ethnicity, income, rent and population. I plotted the factors in a correlation heat map to evaluate how each possibly relate to the number of listings in an area. The colors scale from a strongly positive correlation (blue) to strongly negative correlation (red).

Unsurprisingly, we can see the number of listings (furthest left) are more highly correlated to the per capita income and percent white population, while negatively related to median age (i.e. older areas are likely to have fewer listings). Airbnb might be great for the Chicago tourism and young professionals, but poorer areas are unlikely to be effected at all. Take a look at the rest of the heat map to examine other socioeconomic relationships in the city.

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