April 2011

No. 5617: Ethnic Dimensions of Suburbanisation in Estonia

revised version published in: Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 2013, 39 (5), 845-862

Large scale suburbanisation is a relatively recent phenomenon in East Central Europe and responsible for major socio-spatial changes in metropolitan areas. Little is known about the ethnic dimensions of this process. However, large minority population groups, mainly ethnic Russians, remained into the former member states of the Soviet Union after its dissolution in 1991. We use individual level Estonia Census data in order to investigate the ethnic dimensions of suburbanisation. The results show that ethnic minorities have a considerably lower probability to suburbanise compared to the majority population, and minorities are less likely to move to rural municipalities – the main sites of suburban change – in the suburban ring of cities. Individual characteristics that measure strong ties with the majority population and host society exert a positive effect on ethnic minority suburbanization, and on settling in rural municipalities.