Gregory Verdugo et Sorana Toma, « Can Public Housing Decrease Segregation ? Lessons and Challenges From Non-European Immigration in France », Demography, 2018


Recent decades have seen a rapid increase in the share of non-Euro­pean immi­grants in public housing in Europe, which has led to concern regar­ding the rise of ghettos in large cities. Using French census data over three decades, we examine how this increase in public housing parti­ci­pa­tion has affected segre­ga­tion. While segre­ga­tion levels have increased mode­ra­tely, on average, the number of immi­grant enclaves has grown. The growth of enclaves is being driven by the large increase in non-Euro­pean immi­grants in the census tracts where the largest housing projects are located, both in the housing projects and the surroun­ding nonpu­blic dwel­lings. As a result, contem­po­rary diffe­rences in segre­ga­tion levels across metro­po­litan areas are being shaped by the concen­tra­tion of public housing within cities, in parti­cular the share of non-Euro­pean immi­grants in large housing projects constructed before the 1980s. Never­the­less, the overall effect of public housing on segre­ga­tion has been ambi­guous. While large projects have increased segre­ga­tion, the inflows of non-Euro­pean immi­grants into small projects have brought many immi­grants into census tracts where they have previously been rare and, thus, dimi­ni­shed segre­ga­tion levels.