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Geographies of Opportunity

A science communication project, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation

Is the risk of unemployment higher in some neighbourhoods than in others? Where have children of immigrants the best chances to attend grammar school? And in which contexts are people especially likely to participate in the political process? We try to answer these and related questions in an intuitive way, using an interactive online application.

Using extensive data sets from different sources, we model the propensities for different outcomes, including the probability of belonging to the highest status group, the likelihood to vote for different parties, or the probability of graduating from high school. We pay special attention to different geographic entities and their influences, from neighbourhoods to districts and cantons. The results are presented with individually adjustable maps.

Scientific research should find its way back into society. Since we only describe average effects, we are especially grateful for your feedback and for sharing your experiences with us. Do the spatial inequalities presented in this project coincide with your own experiences? What are possible explanations for these effects? By sharing your opinion with us, we will obtain a better understanding of the underlying processes. Moreover, your feedback can encourage new research on the topic. This is why we thank you for your interest in our project and your most valuable feedback.


Institute of Sociology

University of Zurich