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The geography of ethnic residential segregation : a comparative study of five countries

Research output: Working paperWorking paper and Preprints

  • Michael Poulsen
  • James Forrest
Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 2007


Few studies have undertaken rigorous comparative analyses of levels of ethnic residential segregation across two or more countries. Using data for the latest available censuses (2000-2001) and a bespoke methodology for such comparative work, this article analyses levels of segregation across the urban systems of five major immigrant-receiving, English-speaking countries: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. After describing the levels of segregation in each, the paper tests a model based on generic factors which should influence segregation levels in all five countries and then evaluates – for the urban population as a whole, for the “charter group” in each society, and for various ethnic minority groups – whether there are also significant country-specific variations in segregation levels. The findings show common factors influencing segregation levels in all five countries – notably the size of the group being considered as a percentage of the urban total, but also urban size and urban ethnic diversity – plus country-specific variations that cannot be attributed to these generic factors. In general there is less segregation in Australia and New Zealand than in the other three countries

Additional information

Additional information: Preprint article submitted to the Annals of the Association of American Geographers Sponsorship: The research on which this article is based was partly funded by grants from the Australian Research Council, the British Academy, and Macquarie University, which are gratefully acknowledged

Research areas

  • urban, comparative, residential segregation, ethnicity

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  • Preprint

    Submitted manuscript, 344 KB, PDF-document


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