Immigrant Residential Segregation in the Inner-City of Johannesburg, South Africa

Gayatri Singh, Brown University
Seth Spielman, Brown University

Tract-based measures of residential segregation cannot take into account geographic proximity at the individual level (household or person). In contrast, an explicitly spatial approach is provided by an egocentric measure of residential segregation that takes into account both proximity and scale. Using unique point data from a survey carried out in inner-city Johannesburg, we describe multi-group residential segregation patterns between Black South African host population and Congolese (DRC) and Zimbabwean immigrants. We adapt methods from spatial point process analysis, extending the K function to the case of multiple groups, and to survey data with incomplete residential information. We then engage in a multivariate analysis to estimate a model of residential assimilation to quantify the effect of immigrant nationality on neighboring with the South African host population, while controlling for individual socio-demographic characteristics. Our study raises important substantive questions about the applicability of existing theories of immigrant incorporation in non-Western contexts.

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Presented in Session 155: Racial and Ethnic Residential Segregation Dynamics