Given inward migration and social change in Ireland over the past twenty years it is a useful exercise to determine the extent to which Ireland’s population is socially and spatially segregated.  Reported here are the results presented at the Social Sciences and Public Policy conference held in Galway, Dec 1-2.  Segregation has been calculated using a straightforward aspatial index of dissimilarity that computes the relative size of population of two groups in an area using the demographic data reported in the 2006 census.  In this case, 22 groups were compared with a reference group – so Polish nationals to Irish nationals, Travelling community to white Irish community, lone parent families to nuclear families, etc.  The data were calculated for the Enumerator Area scale, which have an average population of 968, for the cities of Cork, Galway, Limerick, and Waterford.

In the table, red represents a very high degree of segregation through to green which is a relatively low degree of segregation.  What the results show is that the greatest degree of segregation is experienced by the Travelling community, followed by people in local authority housing, followed by non-nationals and ethnic minorities.  There is relatively little segregation around social class or status.

There is a clear difference between the four cities, with Limerick having the highest levels of segregation followed by Cork, Waterford and Galway.

The data are in the process of being computed on a time series basis between 1991 and 2006 at the Electoral District scale, and mapped for the four cities at Enumerator Area scale using location quotients and posts about those will follow at some point.

Des McCafferty

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