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{black, white, people}
{city, large, area}
{country, population, people}
{area, community, home}
{group, member, jewish}
{law, state, case}
{rate, high, increase}
{area, part, region}
{build, building, house}
{film, series, show}
{land, century, early}
{mi², represent, 1st}

A Ghetto is a section of a city occupied by a minority group who live there especially because of social, economic, or legal pressure. The term ghetto was originally used in Venice to describe the area where Jews were compelled to live. A ghetto is now described as an overcrowded urban area often associated with a specific ethnic or racial population.[1]



The term "ghetto" actually comes from the word "gheto" or "ghet", which means slag in Venetian, and was used in this sense in a reference to a foundry where slag was stored located on the same island as the area of Jewish confinement (the Venetian Ghetto).[2] An alternative etymology is from Italian borghetto, diminutive of borgo ‘borough’.[3]


The term came into widespread use in ghettos in occupied Europe 1939-1944 where the Jews were required to live prior to their transportation to concentration and death camps during the holocaust.

The definition of "ghetto" still has a similar meaning, but the broader range of social situations, such as any poverty-stricken urban area.

A ghetto in three distinct ways:[4]

  • As ports of illegal entry for racial minorities, and immigrant racial minorities.
  • When the majority uses compulsion (typically violence, hostility, or legal barriers) to force minorities into particular areas.
  • When economic conditions make it too difficult for minority members to live in non-minority areas.


Hyperghettoization, a concept invented by sociologists Loic Wacquant. William Julius Wilson, and Willy Aybar (see Further reading), is the extreme concentration of underprivileged groups in the inner cities.[5][6]

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