A longitudinal study of migration propensities for mixed-ethnic unions in England and Wales

Z. Feng, M. van Ham, P. Boyle, G.M. Raab

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Most studies investigating residential segregation of ethnic minorities ignore the fact that the majority of adults live in couples. In recent years there has been a growth in the number of mixed-ethnic unions that involve a minority member and a white member. To our knowledge, hardly any research has been undertaken to explicitly examine whether the ethnic mix within households has an impact on the residential mobility of households in terms of the ethnic mix of destination neighbourhoods. Our study addresses this research gap and examines the tendencies of mobility among mixed-ethnic unions in comparison with their co-ethnic peers. We used data from the Longitudinal Study for England and Wales. Our statistical analysis supports the spatial assimilation theory; ethnic minorities move towards less deprived areas and to a lesser extent also towards less ethnically concentrated areas. However, the types of destination neighbourhood of minority people living in mixed-ethnic unions varied greatly with the ethnicity of the ethnic minority partner.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-403
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Issue number3
Early online date6 Sept 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Mixed-ethnic unions
  • Migration
  • Deprivation
  • Ethnic concentration
  • Longitudinal analysis


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