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A comparative study of segregation patterns in Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden: Neighbourhood Concentration and Representation of Non-European migrants

By: Andersson, E., Malmberg, B., Costa, R., Sleutjes, B., Stonawski, M.J. & De Valk, H. (2018)

In this paper, we use geo-coded, individual-level register data on fourEuropean countries to compute comparative measures of segregation that areindependent of existing geographical sub-divisions. The focus is on non-Europeanmigrants, for whom aggregates of egocentric neighbourhoods (with different pop-ulation counts) are used to assess small-scale, medium-scale, and large-scale seg-regation patterns. At the smallest scale level, corresponding to neighbourhoods with200 persons, patterns of over- and under-representation are strikingly similar. Atlarger-scale levels, Belgium stands out as having relatively strong over- and under-representation. More than 55% of the Belgian population lives in large-scaleneighbourhoods with moderate under- or over-representation of non-Europeanmigrants. In the other countries, the corresponding figures are between 30 and 40%.Possible explanations for the variation across countries are differences in housingpolicies and refugee placement policies. Sweden has the largest and Denmark thesmallest non-European migrant population, in relative terms. Thus, in both migrant-dense and native-born-dense areas, Swedish neighbourhoods have a higher con-centration and Denmark a lower concentration of non-European migrants than the other countries. For large-scale, migrant-dense neighbourhoods, however, levels of concentration are similar in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Sweden. Thus, to the extent that such concentrations contribute to spatial inequalities, these countries are facing similar policy challenges.

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