Ethnic Diversity and Personal Contacts at Work and at School in the Netherlands: A Comparison of Natives and Ethnic Minorities

Timothy Hubertus Maria Huijts*, Roderick Sluiter, Peer Scheepers, Gerbert Kraaykamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examined to what extent ethnic diversity in neighborhoods and municipalities in the Netherlands is related to personal contacts at work and at school with the ethnic in- and out-groups, among the native majority as well as ethnic minorities. Constrict theory, ethnic competition theory, and contact theory are used to derive hypotheses. A unique Dutch dataset with an oversampling of two large minority groups is analyzed with three-level multilevel regression models. The results indicate that ethnic diversity at the municipality level is negatively related to personal contacts with native colleagues and schoolmates, but positively related to personal contacts with colleagues and schoolmates from other ethnic groups. Ethnic diversity at the neighborhood level is not related to personal contacts at work and at school. This applies equally to native respondents and Turks and Moroccans, rejecting Putnam's hunkering down hypothesis and ethnic competition theory. Instead, ethnic diversity increases meeting opportunities with ethnic minorities while decreasing meeting opportunities with the native majority.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-298
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of International Migration and Integration
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Ethnic diversity
  • Ethnic minorities
  • Multilevel models
  • Neighborhoods
  • Netherlands
  • Social capital

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