Large social inequalities and low levels of socio-economic segregation in Vilnius


  • Vytautas Valatka Vilnius University
  • Donatas Burneika Vilnius University
  • Rūta Ubarevičienė TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment



The city of Vilnius has experienced major shifts in occupational structure between 2001 and 2011 and at the same time there were major transitions in the housing market and suburbanization. The main aim of this chapter is to get more insight in recent socio-economic segregation processes in Vilnius. We used occupational groups as a proxy for socio-economic status, and census tract level data to measure segregation in Vilnius and its three main housing zones during 2001 and 2011. Notwithstanding the major economic and social changes of post-communist society, we found low levels of segregation and modest change during the last decade. Local patterns of segregation were explored using location quotient maps. The analyses illustrated a deepening social divide in the city between the relatively rich north and the poorer south of the city, but the inner city changes are somehow ambiguous. In this chapter we argue that the main factors of socio-spatial change in Vilnius are related to an exceptionally high share of housing estates in the city and the polycentric urban system of the country. Together with 'fast-track' reforms after 1990 this urban system gave a unique character to the current processes and patterns of segregation.