Searching for a good place to raise kids

Neighbourhood and school characteristics and moving decisions of child families in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area

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Hanna Dhalmann, Mari Vaattovaara & Katja Vilkama Abstract International research links residential and school segregation closely together emphasizing the role of families’ migration decisions in the segregation processes. In this article, we examine whether growing socioeconomic and ethnic differences between the residential areas and schools have bearings on the intra-urban migration of families in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. Our results show that parents pay close attention to the residential composition of neighbourhoods as they search for a safe and nurturing living environment for their children. A “good” school is seen as a part of this package. There are big differences between the neighbourhoods in how well they meet the criteria of desired qualities. This differentiation affects the residential mobility decisions accentuating segregation processes. The data of the study consists of register-based survey-data and in-depth interviews of families with native background. Keywords: residential segregation, schools, child families, selective migration

Hanna Dhalmann

FT, projektipäällikkö, Asuinalueiden kehittämisohjelma, Asumisen rahoitus- ja kehittämiskeskus