Characterizing residential segregation in cities using intensity, separation, and scale indicators

Lucas Spierenburg*, Sander van Cranenburgh, Oded Cats

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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This paper proposes a method to characterize residential segregation patterns along three dimensions: intensity, separation, and scale. These dimensions designate respectively the over-representation of a group in segregated regions, the proportion of people from that group living in these regions, and the spatial extent of these regions. We apply the method to all Dutch municipalities, to study segregation along migration background. Our results demonstrate that no single segregation pattern prevails in the Netherlands: Dutch municipalities express very diverse combinations of intensity, separation, and scale. We then explore the relation between segregation patterns and municipality characteristics. We show that segregation intensity and separation associate with municipality size, income inequality, and share of the group of interest in the municipality population. Moreover, the scale of segregation is highly correlated with municipality size, suggesting a proportional relation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101990
Number of pages13
JournalComputers, Environment and Urban Systems
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Multi-dimensional analysis
  • Regionalization
  • Residential segregation
  • Spatial clustering
  • Spatial scale


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