The impact of spatial segregation on the employment outcomes amongst Bangladeshi men and women in England and Wales

Nabil Khattab*, Ron Johnston, Ibrahim Sirkeci, Tariq Modood

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


Studies of ethnic residential segregation and its impacts on labour market performance have reported both negative and positive outcomes for different groups in different geographies. We revisit the issue with a particular focus on the Bangladeshi minority in England and Wales using both quantitative and qualitative data to explore the impact of living in segregated areas upon their labour market outcomes. We analyse the 2001 UK Census Controlled Access Microdata Sample (CAMS) and a subset (34 Bangladeshis) of qualitative data collected through in-depth interviews with 73 men and women from Indian, Bangladeshi and Black Caribbean backgrounds in 2005. Our quantitative analysis does show a clear negative impact of living in segregated areas (i.e. Bangladeshi ethnic enclaves) on unemployment, economic inactivity and on the occupational returns on education. Qualitative material suggests that cultural and practical reasons very often lead Bangladeshis, including highly qualified persons, to live in enclaves or nearby. Also, ethnic businesses in enclaves appear to offer jobs to many Bangladeshi men and women, but these jobs are normally low-paid that does not require high qualifications increasing the risk of lower occupational returns further.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSociological Research Online
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010



  • Bangladeshis in UK
  • Employment outcomes
  • Enclave economy
  • England
  • Ethnicity
  • Multilevel analysis
  • Residential segregation

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