Immigrant Mobility in Copenhagen C. 1900

Christian Larsen, University of Copenhagen
Mads Linnet Perner, University of Copenhagen

Urban geographers have long since been interested in studying patterns of immigrant settlement and how they might relate to social integration or, conversely, segregation (Schrover and Van Lottum 2007). Moreover, a linchpin of modern Danish immigration policy is the belief that state-imposed dispersion of immigrant populations is necessary to remedy naturally occurring segregation. (Kraka 2014). In this paper, we study the mobility of immigrants arriving in Copenhagen c. 1900 to determine whether residential patterns that were present at the time of arrival persisted in the following years. Through a massive voluntary effort, the Copenhagen Police Registry has recently been digitized and made publically available. Among other things, the registry charts the names, dates of birth and death, addresses and occupations of 1.7 million people who lived in Copenhagen at one point between 1890 and 1923. While there are examples of ethnic clustering in immigration to the UK and the US, the same has not generally been the case for Continental Europe (Wauters 2017). The nature of our data enables us to work with unprecedented levels of details, as the police records allow us to track the movement of immigrants not only aggregate, but also individual levels. The inclusion of more traditional historical sources aid us in expounding the reasons behind the dynamics we find, e.g. the role of social networks in finding housing or the establishment of communities that conform to or cross-cut ethnic ties.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 141. Inequality, Segregation, Mobility