Ethnicity from Spatial Centrality to Peripherality. The Case of Cluj County, Romania
Grigor P. POP1, Vasile ZOTIC2, Diana-Elena ALEXANDRU2
1 Babeș-Bolyai University, Faculty of Geography, Department of Human Geography and Tourism, Cluj-Napoca, ROMANIA
2 Babeș-Bolyai University, Faculty of Geography, Centre for Research on Settlements and Urbanism, Cluj-Napoca, ROMANIA
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Abstract. This study aims to analyze the ethnic structure of the population in Cluj County, Romania, by highlighting the essential traits of their spatial distribution at local level, in urban and rural areas. Having the diversity in the ethnic structure registered in the study area in 2011, we proposed to reveal the spatial distribution of communities, emphasizing on the localization of the first three ranked ethnic groups (Romanian, Hungarian and Rroma). Data revealed that the ethnic majority in the area is represented by the Romanian population (75.37%) and the first ranked minority is represented by the Hungarian population (14.99%). After calculating the relevant indices (the homogeneity index, the ethnic ratio, the ethnic differentiation) results showed a particular feature of the ethnic minority group in relation with the ethnic majority group. We used the IDW method (Inverse Distance Weighting) to cartographically reflect the spatial distribution of the ethnic groups at local level. Results also show an inverse distribution pattern, in which the minority ethnic group is located centrally whereas the majority ethnic group was pushed to peripheral areas. We noted that the added share of Rroma population (3.36%) to the first ranked minority Hungarian group did not change the spatial distribution pattern displayed after using the IDW Method. The conclusion showed that in a mostly Romanian inhabited space, the ethnic majority does not correspond to spatial centrality but to peripherality, this fact being determined by the intrusion of the minority ethnic groups in this area through morphologically advantageous corridors, thus “cramming” the local Romanian population mostly in the mountainous and hilly areas. In the end, by showing this spatial distribution pattern of ethnic groups, we aimed to point out that among the main factors that trigger the spatial centrality and peripherality in the Cluj county, ethnicity plays also an important role.
K e y w o r d s: ethnic group, minority-majority relationship, peripherality, ethnic ratio, homogeneity index, IDW Method (Inverse Distance Weighting)