Geographical review of Japan series B
Online ISSN : 1883-4396
ISSN-L : 1883-4396
Research Note
Socio-spatial Segregation in the Era of Growing Economic Disparities: The Case of Tokyo
UESUGI Masaya
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2021 Volume 94 Issue 1 Pages 18-30

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Abstract

Socio-economic residential segregation is an important issue of social concern and academic interest. Using population census data, we analyze the changes in residential segregation by finer occupational groups at the neighborhood level and their local spatial distribution in Tokyo from 1980 to 2005. This period was characterized by increasing economic disparities in Japan. We find that: 1) Multiple segregation indices provide evidence of some level of residential segregation by occupational groups at the neighborhood level in Tokyo. The level of residential segregation is higher for both ends of the occupational hierarchy than it is for other occupational groups. 2) While the overall level of residential segregation has continually declined, this does not necessarily translate into desegregation between opposite social groups. Furthermore, there are different patterns of changes in residential segregation, even between white- and gray-collar workers. Therefore, using finer or larger occupational groups leads to different insights on the changes in socio-spatial segregation. For the highest occupational group (managerial workers), the level of residential segregation from the lowest group was growing. However, segregation also increased from other occupational groups, except for a short period immediately following the collapse of the bubble economy in the early 1990s. Managerial workers were even more spatially concentrated in central areas of Tokyo, which were already highly concentrated.

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© 2021 The Association of Japanese Geographers
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