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Placing the second generation: A case study of Toronto

TitlePlacing the second generation: A case study of Toronto
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsPreston, V., and Ray B.
JournalThe Canadian Geographer / Le Géographe canadien
Pages215 - 231
Keywordscanadiens de deuxième génération, mobilité sociale, residential segregation, second generation, ségrégation résidentielle, social mobility

We examine the social mobility of the second generation in the Toronto metropolitan area by analyzing whether the adult children of immigrants live in more affluent and desirable neighbourhoods than the first generation. Using 2016 census microdata, we compare the social characteristics of census tracts where immigrants and the second and third-plus (3+) generations concentrate. The index of dissimilarity indicates the degree of residential separation among generations and for five ethno-racial second-generation groups: Chinese, South Asian, Black, Southern European, and Northern and Western European. The empirical findings show that the neighbourhoods where the first generation is over-represented are less affluent than those where the second and 3+ generations concentrate, with the largest improvements in social status occurring between the first and second generations. Although they frequently live in more distant suburban neighbourhoods than the first generation, the second generation still tends to live in inner and outer suburbs more than the exurban 3+ generation. For the second generation, the degree of residential concentration varies across ethno-racial groups with persistent segregation marking the residential locations of racial minorities. The findings highlight the variegated geographies and social mobility of the second generation in Canada's largest metropolitan area.

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