It is often assumed that the level of residential segregation of ethnic and racial groups can be used as a measure of their socio-economic integration into a society. This paper using Canadian census data for the period 1981–1991 questions this assumption and goes to show that the trends in residential segregation need not parallel the trends in socio-economic integration. Socio-economic integration is measured by indices of dissimilarity in the occupational composition and residential segregation by indices of dissimilarity in the population distribution. The study shows that while residential segregation of ethnic groups has remained fairly constant during the decade, occupational segregation has declined significantly. It concludes that while residential segregation may persist due to voluntary or involuntary causes, minority groups have been occupationally mobile. Unlike the case of Blacks in the United States, the study concludes that public policy concerns that spatial segregation of an ethnic group will result in relative deprivation in terms of socio-economic integration may not always be valid in Canada.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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