Towards an enhanced understanding of ethnic group geographies using measures of clustering and unevenness

Gemma Catney*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This paper considers how the increased ethnic diversity of England and Wales has been accompanied by changes in the geography of ethnic group distributions, towards increased or decreased segregation. Drawing on data from the 2001 and 2011 Censuses, the paper has two aims: first, to understand changes to ethnic residential segregation better, through an approach to considering unevenness and clustering concurrently and thus, second, to add to methodological understandings of both the national picture and local geographies of ethnicity, and their evolution over time. The analysis combines spatial with non-spatial information, looking both at the spread of ethnic groups across England and Wales (measured by the Index of Dissimilarity) and how similar the prevalence of an ethnic group is between neighbouring small areas (census output areas; measured by the Moran's I spatial autocorrelation coefficient). Change in segregation over the period is characterised by three major trends: increased ethnic group spread across neighbourhoods and increased spatial similarity between neighbouring small areas (all minority ethnic groups except White Irish and Caribbean); decreased unevenness across neighbourhoods and decreased spatial similarity between neighbouring areas (White Irish and Caribbean); and increased unevenness and increased spatial similarity (White British). The combined measurement of clustering and evenness, in contrast to the use of indices of single dimensions alone, provides a distinction between local concentrations and national-level differences, which captures key characteristics of the geography of ethnic groups and the ways in which they have changed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-83
Number of pages13
JournalGeographical Journal
Issue number1
Early online date27 Sep 2015
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • census
  • clustering
  • England and Wales
  • ethnicity
  • segregation
  • small areas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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