Many European countries have experienced a high level of immigration from all parts of the world in the past two decades and the population of visible minority ethnic groups has grown rapidly. Neighbourhoods with a high percentage of minority ethnic groups are expected to be relatively disadvantaged in social and economic terms. The in-movement of an economically disadvantaged population will itself change the social character of a neighbourhood, increasing the average level of social exclusion and deprivation.

This report presents the results of a research programme that analyses the quality of life in ethnically diverse neighbourhoods in EU15 countries (Member States before the 2004/7 accessions) based on the 2007 European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS). The focus of the analysis is on the comparative situation of neighbourhoods in which respondents to the EQLS state that the share of the population from racial or ethnic groups different from the majority population is relatively high (‘high-diversity neighbourhoods’). The analysis concentrates on the EU15 aggregate and 10 selected countries within it. The selection of these countries was pragmatic and reflects the available sample size within the EQLS of respondents who report that they live in these areas. A large majority of the respondents who report that they live in ethnically diverse neighbourhoods are native to their host country, as are their parents. Hence, this report does not provide a detailed picture of the lives of ethnic minorities.