Chapter 9: Ethnic heterogeneity at neighbourhood level in the Netherlands
Public debates about immigrants in the Netherlands, on problematic social integration, low economic status, low schooling attainment, social tension, crime, tend to assume implicitly that all immigrants are concentrated in the poor neighbourhoods in the larger cities and that policies to tackle the problems should be policies aimed at these neighbourhoods. Some years ago, this was even made very explicit, by targeting socio-economic policies to problem neighbourhoods, with high shares of non-western immigrants a key variable in selecting these neighbourhoods. Debates about unequal quality of education often focus on the problem of ‘black’ schools (schools dominated by immigrant children) in immigrant neighbourhoods. Problems of immigrant communities in a few large cities get disproportionate attention in the media and may easily equate issues of integration of immigrants with problems in a few cities. The purpose of this chapter is to expose the regional dispersion of immigrants across neighbourhoods and the extent of concentration of immigrants groups in the Netherlands. The assumption of strong concentration in immigrant neighbourhoods appears to be clearly false.
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