Religious and ethnic neighbourhood profiles in Vienna 1971 - 2011: a comparison of two dimensions of urban diversity

Ramon Bauer, Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU)
Markus Speringer, Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU)
Guy J. Abel, Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU)

International immigration is a key driver of population growth in many large Western European cities. Figures from Statistics Austria show that in 2011, almost a third of Vienna’s population was foreign-born. The influx of people of different social, ethnic, cultural and religious background affects the composition of urban populations in ways that go beyond the conventional disaggregation by age, sex and ethnicity. However, the literature on urban segregation and diversity is dominated by the ethnic dimension, while only little attention has been paid to the changing religious landscapes of cities. This paper focuses on recent changes in the religious composition of the population of Vienna, and how these changes relate to recent waves of international immigration. We draw on data from the decennial census rounds 1971 to 2011 to develop a set of indicators of segregation and residential diversity that capture the mix of different groups in small-scale urban areas to examine the religious and ethnic composition of Vienna’s population. Since information on religion was not collected any longer in the Austrian census after 2001, we produced estimates of the religious distribution for 243 neighbourhoods in Vienna. Within this context, we aim to answer the questions as to whether the city’s neighbourhoods are more segregated or diversified by religion or by ethnicity, how the patterns changed over time, and how these two dimensions affect each other. The findings will contribute to the WIREL project (WI for Wien/Vienna and REL for Religion) that investigates the role that religion plays in shaping the social and demographic structure of the population of Vienna in the past, present and future.

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Presented in Session 7: Internal migration and residential segregation

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