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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 disadvantaged 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 disadvantage in rural locations. This paper therefore uses Census 2011 output area data to develop a new composite variable based 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, 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 and Siobhan Donnelly

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