Demographic dynamics across urban settings and implications for ethnic geographies

Lena Imeraj, Nissa Finney, Sylvie Gadeyne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There remains a tendency to treat demographic components of urban change in isolation from one another, neglecting the interplay between them. Thus, research has fallen short of an integrated demographic approach for explaining ethnic densification and segregation. To address this shortfall, this paper attends to the dynamics of the components of demographic change and in particular their migrant- and location-specific expressions. The analyses use linked individual-level comprehensive Belgian census data from 1991 and 2001, focussing on 12 ethnic groups and five cities. The demographic decomposition provides three conclusions: the contribution of demographic components of population change varies spatially at city and neighbourhood levels; co-ethnics in differing urban settings have heterogeneous demographic experience; and demographic components of change are generally reproducing ethnic geographies, but some trends of deconcentration are observed. These findings provide a more nuanced perspective on segregation debates and demographic models of migrant integration.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2391
JournalPopulation, Space and Place
VolumeEarly View
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2020


  • Belgian census
  • Demographic components
  • Ethnic geographies
  • (Minority) population change
  • Urban neighbourhood


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