2009 volume 41(6) pages 1442 – 1459

Cite as:
van Ham M, Clark W A V, 2009, "Neighbourhood mobility in context: household moves and changing neighbourhoods in the Netherlands
" Environment and Planning A 41(6) 1442 – 1459
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Neighbourhood mobility in context: household moves and changing neighbourhoods in the Netherlands

Maarten van Ham, William A V Clark

Received 7 March 2008; in revised form 5 June 2008; published online 16 February 2009

Abstract. Although high levels of population mobility are often viewed as a problem at the neighbourhood level we know relatively little about what makes some neighbourhoods more mobile than others. The main question in this paper is to what extent differences in out-mobility between neighbourhoods can be explained by differences in the share of mobile residents, or whether other neighbourhood characteristics also play a role. To answer this question we focus on the effects of the socioeconomic status and ethnic composition of neighbourhoods and on neighbourhood change. Using data from the Netherlands population registration system and the Housing Demand Survey we model population mobility both at individual and at neighbourhood levels. The aggregate results show that the composition of the housing stock and of the neighbourhood population explain most of the variation in levels of neighbourhood out-mobility. At the same time, although ethnic minority groups in the Netherlands are shown to be relatively immobile, neighbourhoods with higher concentrations of ethnic minority residents have the highest population turnovers. The individual-level models show that people living in neighbourhoods which experience an increase in the percentage of ethnic minorities are more likely to move, except when they belong to an ethnic minority group themselves. The evidence suggests that ‘white flight’ and ‘socio-economic flight’ are important factors in neighbourhood change.

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