Public Housing and Residential Segregation of Immigrants in France, 1968-1999

By Gregory Verdugo


This article studies uses census data to study the residential segregation of immigrants in France from 1968 to 1999 and its links with public housing, in urban areas of more than 50,000 inhabitants, and between these areas. During this period, European and non-European immigrant segregation followed diverging trends. At the macro-geographical level, the results indicate a decrease in the concentration of immigrants across urban areas, notably for non-European immigrants living in public housing. Within urban areas, national origin segregation was predominant until 1968 for all groups and declined afterward, particularly for European immigrants. For non-European immigrants in public housing, the decline in segregation by national origin has been counterbalanced by an increase in segregation by continent or sub-continent of origin. This can be partly explained by the clustering of immigrants of different national origins in the same public housing neighbourhoods. In 1999, immigrants in public housing experienced higher segregation levels than immigrants in private housing, particularly non-European immigrants. However, no relationship was found between differences in average arrival year and differences in segregation levels across immigrant groups.


  • public housing
  • immigration
  • segregation
  • urban area
  • France
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