Purpose - While many related prior studies have focused on the segregation by race and ethnicity, the academic interest in the separation of residence by income and social class is gradually increasing. This study aims to not only investigate spatial pattern of economic segregation and poverty rate in South Korea, but also shed light on what affect residential distribution of the poor. Research design, data, and methodology - The unit of analysis is Si-Gun-Gu municipal level entities of South Korea. Most demographic, socioeconomic, and residential variables were derived from Korean Census Data in 2015. In order to examine spatial patterns of economic segregation and poverty rate in South Korea, a series of measurements and visualization was conducted through the Geo-Segregation Analyzer and ArcGIS programs. Determinants of economic segregation and local poverty rates were investigated by regression analyses using STATA. Results - The spatial patterns of areas with high poverty rates were extremely clustered, while the distribution of areas with high economic segregation was relatively evenly distributed. Demographic, residential, and local factors appeared to affect whether the poor live in particular area or spread evenly. Conclusions - The factors that raise the poverty rate result in lower level of economic segregation, while factors that reduce the poverty rate lead to severe level of economic segregation.


Economic Segregation, Poverty, Spatial Distribution, Determinants.