Residential Assimilation of Immigrants: A Cohort Approach

This paper measures the process of residential assimilation for three cohorts of immigrants from each of five countries of birth entering Auckland, New Zealand between 1991 and 2006. It tracks, and compares, the changes in spatial segregation, isolation, and autocorrelation for these cohorts over time, using index measures adjusted for random location variation.

We find evidence of residential assimilation, whereby immigrants become less spatially concentrated in the years following arrival. Overall concentration has nevertheless been increasing over time, with successive cohorts entering with higher levels of initial concentration. By examining the spatial location patterns of arrival cohorts, we show that entering cohorts are attracted to the current rather than initial locations occupied by the previous cohort of their compatriots. Despite differences across cohorts and over time, there is nevertheless a high degree of stability in the ‘residential footprint’ of different immigrant groups within Auckland.


Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Ministry of Science and Innovation