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Immigration, integration and risks of social exclusion: the social policy case for disaggregated data in the Republic of Ireland

Neil O’Boyle, Bryan Fanning


This article makes the case for improved small area data on socio-spatial segregation and social exclusion in Ireland that is comprehensively disaggregated by nationality and ethnicity. We argue that disaggregated data are crucial if the complex effects of immigration are to be understood and effective policy developed. This article examines two case studies of relatively deprived areas in Dublin that have disproportionately large immigrant populations. Our analysis of immigration and deprivation in the Dublin Inner City Partnership (DICP) and Blanchardstown Partnership areas highlights the shortcomings of currently available disaggregated data. In particular, our analysis identifies cohorts of immigrants at high risk of social exclusion that are largely invisible in segregation and deprivation scores. This article therefore makes the case for an improved evidence base, informed by reliable (and cross-tabulated) statistical data and argues that disaggregated data are crucial to targeted policy interventions.

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