Disentangling immigrant residential clustering

Eric Fong, University of Toronto
Elic Chan, University of Toronto

Our study explores how immigrants cluster in co-ethnic neighborhoods. Recent studies on the topic debate the relative role of economic resources and co-ethnic preferences. Besides, the existing research has not kept pace with recent findings on the role of co-ethnic resources in immigrant adaptation. We systematically examined the effects of economic resources, co-ethnic preferences, and the use of co-ethnic sources on the co-ethnic clustering of immigrants. Our study is based on a data set that provides rich information on housing search among Chinese and Asian Indian immigrants in Toronto in 2006. The findings suggest that of all preferences, only co-ethnic preference is related to co-ethnic clustering. Second, among various co-ethnic resources to obtain housing information, only the use of co-ethnic real estate agents is related to the clustering. Third, levels of co-ethnic clustering are not related to the economic resources of immigrants. Nevertheless, cautious in interpreting the results are suggested.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Migration, environment and spatial demography