How processes of gentrification unfold, at what rate, and with what effects, can all differ substantially in different places. Although pre-existing theories have sought to encapsulate this diversity, the temporal and spatial limits of gentrification processes have yet to be fully explored. This paper postulates that population geographers have a role to play here. Firstly, researchers are urged to study gentrification within a broader temporal perspective, and to unravel connections between migration dynamics and population transitions over the course of the process. Secondly, it is contended that processes and effects of gentrification should be examined within wider spatial frameworks, whereby migration flows of relatively affluent households are evaluated within the context of (re)urbanisation, suburbanisation and counterurbanisation. This may pose important questions about the understandings of demographic links between gentrification and in-migrants at particular stages of their life-course. It is argued that this research agenda will require the adoption of more inclusive definitions of gentrification, embracing wider spatial and temporal criteria. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.