UBDC Summer Training 2017: Measuring Segregation and Scale in R

Wednesday 6 September 2017
10:00 – 13:00 BST
Jura Teaching Lab, Level 4 Annexe, University of Glasgow Library, Hillhead Street, Glasgow G12 8QE

The course will introduce the MLID package in R, which offers tools and functions for studying ethnic and social segregation with a multilevel index of dissimilarity.

The advantage of the multilevel approach it is it allows a well-known and easily interpretable index to be extended to measure the two principal dimensions of segregation simultaneously: spatial unevenness and spatial clustering. Scale differences can be examined to explore how much of the segregation is occurring at local, sub-regional or regional scales. A ‘hands on’ study using ethnicity data from the 2011 UK Census will be undertaken.

Course instructor

Richard Harris, School of Geographical Science, University of Bristol

Course duration

Half day (Wednesday 6th September, 2017, 10:00am – 1:00pm)

Course location

Jura teaching lab, Level 4 Annexe, Glasgow University Library


Anyone interested in the measurement of ethnic and social segregation.


  • £25 - For UK registered students
  • £35 - For staff at UK academic institutions, Research Council UK funded researchers, UK public sector staff and staff at UK registered charity organisations
  • £50 - For all other participants

Pre-requisite knowledge

Prior experience of using R would be useful but is not essential.

Course content

  • How to fit the index of dissimilarity (and other indices) within a regression framework in R
  • How to examine the residuals to identify the places contributing most to the index score
  • How to extend the model to look for scale effects
  • How to use visual tools and other diagnostics to interpret the results

Background reading

Harris R (2017) Measuring the scales of segregation: looking at the residential separation of White British and other school children in England using a multilevel index of dissimilarity, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, in press.