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Measuring Spatial Concentration: The Use of Threshold Profiles


  • Ron Johnston

    (School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1SS, England)

  • David Voas

    (Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TU, England Michael Poulsen Department of Human Geography, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia)


The measurement of spatial pattern is often undertaken using one of a number of single-number indices, such as the Gini coefficient, which may not illuminate certain aspects of the pattern involved—especially the degree to which the members of the reference group are spatially concentrated. We suggest an alternative approach based on a concentration profile which shows the degree to which a group is spatially concentrated according to a range of thresholds. This is illustrated with data on male unemployment in England and Wales in 1991, which also shows the importance of spatial scale to the study of concentrations and, potentially, to the formulation of spatially focused public policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Ron Johnston & David Voas, 2003. "Measuring Spatial Concentration: The Use of Threshold Profiles," Environment and Planning B, , vol. 30(1), pages 3-14, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:envirb:v:30:y:2003:i:1:p:3-14

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    Cited by:

    1. Olga Alonso-Villar & Coral Del Rio, "undated". "The Geographical Concentration of Unemployment: a Male-female Comparison in Spain," Regional and Urban Modeling 283600002, EcoMod.
    2. Arthur Huang & David Levinson, 2011. "Why Retailers Cluster: An Agent Model of Location Choice on Supply Chains," Environment and Planning B, , vol. 38(1), pages 82-94, February.
    3. Jan Ritsema van Eck & Eric Koomen, 2008. "Characterising urban concentration and land-use diversity in simulations of future land use," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 42(1), pages 123-140, March.

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