Resource Database: Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Title Constructing a Deprivation Index During a Tutorial
Originator Robin Flowerdew
Department Department of Geography, Lancaster University, LA1 4YB
Tel. +44 (0)1524 593739
Fax. +44 (0)1524 847099

The tutorial involves getting the students to construct their own deprivation index.

It shows students some of the information available in the 1991 UK census of population;
it increases their familiarity with statistical and graphical analysis;
it shows how indexes are constructed;
it forces the students to clarify what they mean (or consider what others might mean) by 'deprivation'.

The use of one hour unbroken time and a small group of students allows one to pursue these statistical issues in greater depth than in a large practical class. It also allows for a fuller discussion of what an index shows, what it actually measures and the range of alternative indexes that are possible and how one might rank them in terms of quality or usefulness by various criteria.

The tutorial needs quite a lot of preparation by the tutor in assembling a dataset for a set of areas and writing a worksheet for the students to carry out the various tasks to construct their own index. The tutor needs also to run the discussion session at the end where the students explain their indexes, and there is a general discussion of the merits of particular indexes and of the whole idea of measuring something so multi-dimensional as deprivation by a single index.


Statistical methods

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Page created 7 April 1997
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