Social class versus cultural identity as factors in the residential segregation of ethnic groups in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver for 2001

T. R. Balakrishnan, Paul Maxim, Rozzet Jurdi


This article examines the relevance of the spatial assimilation model in
understanding residential segregation of ethnic groups in the three largest
gateway cities of Canada. Using data from the census of 2001 it finds that while
the model may have worked for the European groups they are less applicable to the visible minorities such as the Chinese, South Asians and Blacks. Residential segregation reduces with generation for the European groups but not for the visible minorities. Canadian patterns seem to be different from that seen in the United States. Many visible minority groups maintain their concentration levels even in the suburbs. The findings seem to indicate that cultural preferences may be just as important as social class in the residential choices of visible minority groups.

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