Segregation Worsens As Capital’s Integration ‘Fails’

Expatica, Mar. 11

AMSTERDAM—Segregation in Amsterdam has increased in recent years, as Moroccans, Turkish nationals and Dutch natives increasingly congregate together in city districts, a city council report indicated on Friday.

The 2004 Diversity and Integration Monitor found that there are a rising number of areas where 70 to 80 percent of the population is made up of non-western immigrants. The highest percentages are found in Zuidoost, Zeeburg and parts of Nieuw-West.

The small concentration of non-western immigrants living in the city centre in 2000 completely disappeared from the canal district in 2003. The centre and inner city districts to the south are especially populated by Dutch

natives and western immigrants.

The situation in the centre of Amsterdam is thus becoming more and more like the other large cities in the Netherlands, such as Rotterdam, where distinct divisions in suburbs are noticeable. In years past, ethnic segregation in the Dutch capital was better than other large cities.

The Amsterdam Council report said the change was due to the failure to integrate immigrants into Dutch society, newspaper De Telegraaf reported on Friday.

City areas with large immigrant populations are the most unattractive places in terms of the housing market. Problems such as unemployment, social security dependence and school absentee rates are prevalent and contact with Dutch natives is infrequent.

“In education, segregation is more or less complete,” the researchers said.

The report, compiled by research bureau O+S, said that geographic division of ethnic groups hinders successful integration, news agency Novum reported.

Previous research had indicated that contact between ethnic groups stimulates positive reactions to both immigrant and native communities. This in turn can set off a chain reaction which would stimulate friendly relations between ethnic groups.

But the Amsterdam executive council—made up of Mayor Job Cohen and aldermen and women—asserts that an ethnic mix in city districts has even been a policy objective.

Integration of immigrants has instead been targeted by improving socio-economic circumstances, the council said.

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