The new All-Island HP Deprivation Index presents an area-based deprivation measure for the island of Ireland based on the 2011 Census.

The All-Island HP Deprivation Index is a joint project that has been developed by Trutz Haase and Dr Jonathan Pratschke in collaboration with the International Centre for Local and Regional Development (ICLRD) and the All-Island Research Observatory (AIRO) at Maynooth University. This project has been part financed by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (DELCG) and by the European Union’s INTERREG IVA programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.

This study presents an area-based deprivation measure for the island of Ireland based on the 2011 Census. Conceptually, it builds on the study undertaken by the authors in 2011 (Haase, Pratschke and Gleeson, 2012), which used small area (SA) data from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to construct a prototype of an all-island deprivation index. The new index is made possible by recent developments in data availability and harmonisation.

The first major development relates to the 2011 Census itself, which was carried out concurrently in almost all European countries, providing data for both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Secondly, small areas (SA) were introduced in both jurisdictions for the publication of aggregate data from the census, providing a better alignment of geographical units. Thirdly, the CSO and NISRA have worked together on an ambitious programme of data harmonisation, leading to a joint publication using socio-economic statistics from the census on an all-island basis (CSO and NISRA, 2014).

The new All-Island HP Deprivation Index builds on these developments and draws on a combined set of equivalent indicators to form a single deprivation index, providing a powerful tool for researchers and policymakers who are interested in understanding and seeking to reduce the social gradient that characterises a multiplicity of different outcomes in the economic, social and political spheres.

The 2011 All-Island HP Deprivation Index is constructed along the same lines as the New Measures of Deprivation (Haase and Pratschke, 2005, 2008) and the Pobal HP Deprivation Index for Small Areas (Haase and Pratschke, 2010, 2012), all of which are based on the same set of hypotheses regarding the underlying dimensions of deprivation, and all of which use Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA). The index relies on ten variables, each of which expresses a distinct aspect of relative affluence and deprivation. The rationale for the choice of the three component dimensions and their respective indicators is outlined in Haase and Pratschke (2005). The dimensions are referred to as Demographic Profile, Social Class Composition and Labour Market Situation, with the following measurement structure:

Demographic Profile is measured by five indicators:

  • percentage change in population over the previous five years
  • percentage of people aged under 15 or over 64 years of age
  • percentage of people with low educational achievements
  • percentage of people with a third-level education
  • mean number of persons per room

Social Class Composition is also measured by five indicators:

  • percentage of people with low educational achievements
  • percentage of people with a third-level education
  • percentage of households of high social class
  • percentage of households of low social class
  • mean number of persons per room

Labour Market Situation is measured by four indicators:

  • percentage of households with children aged under 15 years and headed by a single parent
  • male unemployment rate
  • female unemployment rate
  • percentage of households of low social class

Main Index Results:

Looking at the combined Index Scores, we can see that

  • Northern Ireland is more affluent, on average, than the Republic of Ireland (3.0 compared to -0.7)
  • The Republic of Ireland has more extreme values, particularly reflecting areas of severe deprivation (with a minimum of -34.8, compared with -22.1 in Northern Ireland)

Three deeper observations emerge from the current analysis, starting with the obvious result that, by 2011, Northern Ireland had become the more affluent of the two jurisdictions. This is of considerable interest, as the relative positions of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are reversed compared with our previous analysis, which was based on the 2001 Census for Northern Ireland and the 2006 Census for the Republic of Ireland.

Secondly, the driving factor in this striking development has been the ability of Northern Ireland to maintain a comparatively high level of employment despite the unfavourable economic climate since roughly the mid-point of the inter-census period. Ireland, by contrast, has experienced the collapse of the Celtic Tiger and an intensification of economic difficulties and austerity policies. Naturally, these observations relate to 2011, and do not take account of any changes which may have occurred over the past three years in relation to deprivation and its spatial distribution.

The third observation that emerges from this analysis relates to the different ways in which rurality constitutes itself in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. In terms of deprivation, the key question is the degree to which peripheral location implies opportunity deprivation, and there appear to be quite marked differences between the two jurisdictions in this regard. In Northern Ireland, people with high educational attainments, prestigious occupations and a high social class position appear to be able to maintain a rural lifestyle whilst nevertheless accessing work-related (and other) opportunities associated with more urban areas. In the Republic of Ireland, the most important social opportunities (such as accessing more dynamic labour markets) are mainly concentrated in urban areas but, in contrast to Northern Ireland, it appears to be much more difficult to access these from certain areas of the country, presumably due to geographical remoteness, the nature of the transport network and related difficulties.

These factors give rise to a much greater degree of differentiation between urban and rural areas in the Republic of Ireland with regard to population growth and decline, their ability to retain residents in the central working-age cohorts and their attractiveness to more highly-educated individuals. It would therefore appear that rural areas in the Republic of Ireland are much more negatively affected by opportunity deprivation than equivalent areas in Northern Ireland. Furthermore, practically all areas in the Republic of Ireland have experienced the dramatic and combined impact of economic crisis and cuts in public expenditure, whilst the impact of the crisis in Northern Ireland appears to have been weaker and perhaps somewhat mitigated by the policies that were adopted.

 

Visualising the All-Island HP Deprivation Index

To view and interact with the All-Island HP Deprivation Index please view the mapping tool on the AIRO. The mapping tool allows users to view deprivations scores across the 23,025 Small Areas across the island (18,488 in the Republic of Ireland and 4,537 in Northern Ireland). Clicking on a Small Area will provide an All-Island Deprivation score, category, relative position within the entire island, parent jurisdiction and parent local authority/district. Click on the View Visualisation tab to launch the mapping viewer

Further Details

For more details on the development of the index and and the final results please contact Mr Trutz Haase - Social and Economic Consultant or visit the website http://www.trutzhaase.eu

mail@trutzhaase.eu
http://www.trutzhaase.eu
+353 1 490 8800  

To download a more detailed article on the All-Island Deprivation Index and slides from a recent workshop at Maynooth University click here

 

Project Background

The project is part-financed by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (DECLG) and the European Union’s INTERREG IVA programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.

This project is being developed under the Evidence-Based Planning theme of the Ireland Northern Ireland Cross-border Cooperation Observatory (INICCO-2) CrosSPlaN-2 funded research programme which responds to the need for sustained support to territorial cooperation in the Irish border region.

The Evidence-Based Planning theme will provide compatible 2011 census data from RoI and NI and an updated deprivation index in an on-line user-friendly format to support collaboration among central government departments in both administrations within the border region and across the island. Practitioners, officials and elected members involved in cross-border programmes will be trained in the use, interpretation and application of data in the implementation and evaluation of cross-border programmes. This will occur through four ‘data day’ events and presentations over the coming year. Selected 2011 census information will be published in book form with analysis and commentary by sector experts, and this will provide policy makers and practitioners with an understanding of trends and their implications across a broad section of themes (e.g. economy, demography, housing, transport, education) to support the coordination of strategic planning, infrastructure and services across the border and inform future EU programming.