Rising Inequalities and a Changing Social Geography of Cities: An Introduction to the Global Segregation Book

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The book “Urban Socio-Economic Segregation and Income Inequality: a Global Perspective” investigates the link between income inequality and residential segregation between socio-economic groups in 24 large cities and their urban regions in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America. Author teams with in-depth local knowledge provide an extensive analysis of each case study city. Based on their findings, the main results of the book can be summarised as follows. Rising inequalities lead to rising levels of socio-economic segregation almost everywhere in the world. Levels of inequality and segregation are higher in cities in lower income countries, but the growth in inequality and segregation is faster in cities in high-income countries, which leads to a convergence of global trends. In many cities the workforce is professionalising, with an increasing share of the top socio-economic groups. In most cities the high-income workers are moving to the centre or to attractive coastal areas, and low-income workers are moving to the edges of the urban region. In some cities, mainly in lower income countries, high-income workers are also concentrating in out-of-centre enclaves or gated communities. The urban geography of inequality changes faster and is more pronounced than city-wide single-number segregation indices reveal. Taken together, these findings have resulted in the formulation of a Global Segregation Thesis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUrban Socio-Economic Segregation and Income Inequality
Subtitle of host publicationA Global Perspective
EditorsMaarten van Ham, Tiit Tammaru, Rūta Ubarevičienė, Heleen Janssen
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-64569-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-64568-7
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameThe Urban Book Series
ISSN (Print)2365-757X
ISSN (Electronic)2365-7588


  • Socio-economic segregation
  • Income inequality
  • Residential segregation
  • Global segregation thesis


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