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Using Census data to derive a new area-based measure of deprivation - Abstract

Abstract: Tackling regional inequality across the UK requires data that can identify where the most deprived areas can be found. Existing area-based measures of deprivation available for policy purposes, however, have their limitations. For example, the most common measure utilised in each of the four nations today – the index formed from the Indices of Deprivation – does not adequately capture deprivation in rural locations. This paper therefore uses Census 2011 output/small area data to develop a new UK-wide area based measure of deprivation [called the Socioeconomic Index for Small Areas (SEISA)] using information on the qualifications and occupations of residents. The theoretical rationale behind the choice of these two Census variables is discussed, alongside the methodology behind the derivation of our new measure. We go on to illustrate its correlation with low income and other factors associated with deprivation, before a comparison to the Indices of Deprivation is presented in each of the four nations to illustrate the added value our measure can bring.

Keywords: Income, Deprivation, Townsend, Census, Education, Occupation

Authors: Tej Nathwani, Siobhan Donnelly, Archie Bye

Acknowledgements: The authors would like to thank anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper. Any remaining errors are our own.

Next: Section 1: Introduction