Residential Segregation and Interethnic Contact in the Netherlands

09-05-2011 | Publication

Dutch policy-makers perceive high shares of ethnic minorities in neighbourhoods as a problem; it might generate fewer opportunities for minorities to have contact with the native Dutch population and thereby hinder integration. The question, however, is whether the ethnic composition of neighbourhoods influences interethnic contact.

In this paper, the focus is on the leisure contact of people from ethnic minorities aged 15 to 65 with native Dutch people. Binary logistic multilevel analysis shows that contact with native Dutch people is mainly explained by individual characteristics. In addition, living in one of the four largest cities-cities with high shares of minorities at the city level—leads to less contact with native Dutch people. The ethnic composition of the neighbourhood has no effect on contact, therefore segregation at the neighbourhood level does not necessarily hinder integration.