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Commuting to Diversity

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Auckland is New Zealand’s most diverse city, but the impacts of diversity are likely to be less if interactions between different groups are limited by where they live and work.

This study examines exposure to local cultural diversity based on where people work as well as where they live. The researchers’ measure of cultural diversity is based on country of birth, with ethnicity breakdowns for those born in Aotearoa New Zealand. The study also examines whether the relationship between commuting and exposure to diversity differs between workers with different skills or types of job. Commuters who self-identify as NZ-born Europeans and residents born in England (who together account for close to half of all commuters) are, of all cultural groups, the least exposed to diversity in the neighbourhoods where they live. Overall, commuting to the workplace raises exposure to cultural diversity, and to the greatest extent for these two groups.

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