The spatial dimension of integration :
developments in segregation of immigrant populations in France from 1968 to 1999
The article gives an empirical overview of the question of segregation as it affects immigrant groups in France, presenting quantified information, of a sort very seldom found in previous French research, on segregation levels for these population groups and how they evolved, information derived from five consecutive censuses, here analyzed by means of varied measurement tools. Theory for explaining connections between immigrant integration and immigrant distribution in space is reviewed. Whereas the theory of spatial assimilation predicts that segregation will disappear « naturally », this article observes regularly decreasing segregation levels only for Spanish and Italian immigrants. Immigrants from Africa and Turkey not only have much higher segregation levels but also show more variable change over time, change that is difficult to interpret in terms of spatial assimilation. Using a variety of measurement tools and increasing the number of geographic zones analyzed brings to light the many diverse facets of spatial segregation and the complexity of quantitatively analyzing this phenomenon.