Ethnoburbs: New Faces of Changing Settlement Dynamics

As urbanism is a new way of life in the fast urbanising world, many new settlement systems are emerging.An ethnoburb is such a type.

An ethnoburb is a suburban residential as well as business area with a notable cluster of a particular ethnic minority population. Although the group may not constitute the majority within the region, it is a significant amount of the population.That can greatly influence the social geography within the area .

Ethnoburbs are suburban in look, but urban in political, culinary and educational values, attracting immigrants with advanced degrees and ready business skills.

Immigrants still like to settle where immigrants have already settled. Geographers call this chain migration. Once word of the new ethnoburbs got around, they grew fast. Letters, phone calls, and then emails back to the old country, enticed others. Ethnoburbs can be considered product of this tendency.

Ethnoburbs allow for ethnic minority groups to maintain their individual identity, but that may also restrict their ability to fully assimilate into mainstream culture and society.

The term was first coined in 1997 by Dr. Wei Li, then assistant professor of geography and Asian American studies at the University of Connecticut, in a paper examining the suburban Chinese population in Los Angeles.According to Dr. Wei Li, the author of many writings on the subject, the ethnoburb has resulted from “the influence of international geopolitical and global economic restructuring, changing national immigration and trade policies, and local demographic, economic and political contexts.”

Although it is sometime assumed that an ethnoburb is composed of immigrants with a lower economic status, that may not always be the case, as many ethnoburbs are made up of wealthy and high economic status individuals in more expensive neighbourhoods and communities.


Link(s) and Source(s):



New York Times


Some Urban Terms




About Rashid Faridi

I am Rashid Aziz Faridi ,Writer, Teacher and a Voracious Reader.
This entry was posted in earth, Migration, Settlements, Urban Studies. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Ethnoburbs: New Faces of Changing Settlement Dynamics

  1. Pingback: Guest Post:Welcome to Exurbia | Rashid's Blog: An Educational Portal

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