Life satisfaction, ethnicity and neighbourhoods: is there an effect of neighbourhood ethnic composition on life satisfaction?

Publication type

Journal Article

Published in

Social Science Research

Authors

Gundi Knies, Alita Nandi and Lucinda Platt

Publication date

Summary

Immigrants and ethnic minorities tend to have lower life satisfaction than majority populations. However, we have only a limited understanding of the drivers of these gaps. Using a rich, nationally representative data set with a large sample of ethnic minorities and matched neighbourhood characteristics, we test whether first and second generation minorities experience lower life satisfaction once accounting for compositional differences and whether, specifically, neighbourhood deprivation impacts their wellbeing. We further investigate whether a larger proportion of own ethnic group in the neighbourhood improves satisfaction. We find life satisfaction is lower among ethnic minorities, and especially for the second generation, even controlling for individual and area characteristics. Neighbourhood concentration of own ethnic group is, however, associated with higher life satisfaction for Black Africans and UK born Indians and Pakistanis. The effect for Black Africans may stem from selection into areas, but findings for Indians and Pakistanis are robust to sensitivity tests.

Volume and page numbers

60, 110-124

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2016.01.010

ISSN

16

Subjects

Area Effects, Ethnic Groups and Well Being

Links

Notes

Open Access article; Open Access funded by Economic and Social Research Council; Under a Creative Commons license

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