Ethnic minority unemployment and spatial mismatch: The case of London

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Unemployment amongst Britain's ethnic minorities is approximately twice that of the white population. Spatial mismatch theory suggests that the concentration of the ethnic minority population in declining inner-city areas may be partially responsible for part of this disparity. Alternative explanations include different population characteristics and racial discrimination. This paper uses data from the 1991 Census to explore the geography of minority ethnic unemployment in Greater London and attempts to evaluate the importance of the geographical distribution of ethnic minorities (and other factors) in understanding unemployment differences. It is argued that spatial mismatch provides an unsatisfactory explanation of Asian unemployment in London and, at best, a partial explanation of black unemployment. Rather, there is a complex interrelationship between unemployment, ethnicity and spatial location which is mediated by the local context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1569-1596
Number of pages27
JournalUrban Studies
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1999


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