Acción Estratégica Medea

Deprivation index


International studies have shown that socio-economic inequalities in health tend to be lower among women than among men (Mackenbach et al., 1999). The differences found may be due to different social patterns and life-styles.

Deprivation refers to the lack of access to resources, whether these are material (housing, job, education, food, etc.) or social (employment-related rights, family activities, integration in the community, formal participation in social, leisure and educational institutions).

The socio-economic indicators used to analyse socio-economic deprivation of residential areas have mostly been indicators based on men (such as the percentage of male unemployment) or indicators which analyse both sexes jointly (Domínguez-Berjón et al., 2008). It is necessary to advance at both conceptual and empirical levels, in developing a measure of socio-economic deprivation which reflects the reality of women, as well as to establish and characterise possible differences in the evolution of inequalities among women.


To elaborate a deprivation index which allows inequalities according to gender to be captured better.


  • Literature review.
  • Review of available data (2001 Census) and existing definitions of indicators.
  • Elaboration of indicators and of the deprivation index.

Indicators developed in the MEDEA I project (Domínguez-Berjón et al. 2008) will be used. In order to elaborate the deprivation index, indicators selected by means of multivariate techniques such as Principal Components Analysis will be combined.


Mackenbach JP, Kunst AE, Groenhof F, Borgan JK, Costa G, Faggiano F et al. Socioeconomic inequalities in mortality among women and among men: an international study. Am J Public Health. 1999; 89(12):1800-6.

Domínguez-Berjón F, Borrell C, Cano-Serral G, Esnaola S, Nolasco A, Pasarín MI et al. Construcción de un índice de privación a partir de datos censales (proyecto MEDEA). Gac Sanit. 2008; 22 (3):179-87.