The Dynamics of Ethnic Group Population Change: A Demographic Explanation of Clustering and Dispersal

Nissa Finney, University of Manchester
Ludi Simpson, University of Manchester

Dispersal of immigrant-origin populations from areas of initial settlement is well evidenced in Europe and the USA. However, the persistent clustering of non-white groups has led to assumptions in political and media discourses that the cause is ‘white flight’ and non-white ‘self segregation’. This paper uses a census-based time series of population for Great Britain, and an approach drawing on demography and population geography, to explore local variations in population dynamics for ethnic groups. The paper demonstrates that ethnic geographies in Britain are driven largely by benign processes of natural change rather than by divisive migration patterns. By presenting results via a typology of population change, the paper theorizes about how migration relates to natural change, allowing alternative interpretations of geographies of ethnicity. Methodologically, the paper demonstrates the possibility and potential of decomposing population change into net migration and natural change by ethnic group, age and sex for small areas.

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Presented in Session 7: Migration, Race-Ethnicity and Community Change