What is the Northern
Ireland Multiple Deprivation Measure (NIMDM)?
The Northern Ireland Multiple Deprivation Measure 2005 (NI
MDM 2005) is a measure of multiple deprivation at the small area level. The
model of multiple deprivation which underpins the NIMDM 2005 is based on the
idea of distinct domains of deprivation which can be recognised and measured
separately. These are experienced by individuals living in an area. People may
be counted as deprived in one or more of the domains, depending on the number
of types of deprivation that they experience. The overall MDM is conceptualised
as a weighted area level aggregation of these specific domains of deprivation.
is a domain?
are seven ‘domains' which make up the Multiple Deprivation Measure and describe
the ‘category’ of deprivation they cover. The domains are as follows:
& Disability deprivation
Crime & Social
is an indicator?
Each domain contains a number of indicators or variables.
There are a total of 43 indicators used in the overall measures. Where
possible, the indicators relate to 2003. The aim for each domain was to include
an economical in number collection of indicators that comprehensively captured
the deprivation for each domain, within the constraints of data availability
and the criteria set.
The Northern Ireland
Statistics and Research Agency has developed geographical units called ‘Super
Output Areas’ (SOAs). These are aggregates of 2001 Census Output Areas and are
a relatively small scale unit, containing an average of just less than 2000
people. There are a total of 890 SOAs in Northern Ireland – you can see images
of all NI SOAs on the NINIS website through the map catalogue www.ninis.nisra.gov.uk.
Why not wards?
Wards have varied population sizes in Northern Ireland.
They range from around 750 people in a ward in Moyle to around 9,500 people in
Belfast. Wards are not an ideal base from which to measure spatial deprivation.
This is why Super Output Areas were developed.
Can I get ward level
Yes – a ward level summary has been produced and is
available on the NINIS website – in the data catalogue. NISRA, however,
recommend that SOA level information is used.
I live in X SOA is this the
same as X ward?
Some wards remained the same and became whole SOAs (for example the Ardboe ward in Cookstown is also Ardboe
Some wards were split into SOAs and these will
have numbers in the title (for example the Fortwilliam ward in Belfast was
split into 3 SOAs and these are called Fortwilliam 1, Fortwilliam 2 and
Some wards were combined to make an SOA (for
example, the Ballylough ward and the Bushmills wards in Moyle were
combined to form Ballylough & Bushmills SOA)
Can I use a look-up table for large numbers of postcodes to Super Output Areas without having to use the Postcode Box on an individual postcode basis?
Postcodes do not match up to any administrative geography, i.e. some houses with a postcode can lie in one SOA while other houses with the same postcode can lie in another SOA.
However, you can geographically reference individual postcodes by using the NI Central Postcode Directory (latest version July 2006) which lists all postcodes in NI and their centroid grid reference (the grid reference of the house closest to the average of all the houses of the same postcode).
This grid reference then places each postcode to an administrative area, for example Super Output Area.
The NI Central Postcode Directory is free but you need to request a Terms and Conditions form, sign it and return it to the NISRA Geography by fax (028 90348134) or post (Stephen Smith, NISRA Geography, NISRA, McAuley House, 2-14 Castle Street, Belfast, BT1 1SA).
We can then forward you a copy of the CD. Further details are available on the Nisra website.
I still use the old Noble / Noble 2001 measures?
Yes, however NISRA
recommend that the new measures are now used.
Can I compare the 2005
measures with the old measures?
No – for a number of reasons, the geographies are different,
the data used to create the measures is different, the indicators are different
and therefore the two measures are incomparable.
How will I know if my area
has changed since the last Noble? / How can I compare change over time?
Do not use the ranks / scores to do this. You must look
at the underlying indicators used to measure deprivation – eg rate of people
claiming income support etc. These will allow you to measure change over time.
What should I use – scores
As a starting point it is
best to use ranks.
In the Income and Employment
domains, however, the score determines the percentage of people who experience
that respective type of deprivation. For example – if Ballycarry SOA in Larne
has an income score of 0.09 – this means that 9% of people in this SOA are
classified as income deprived. This can only be used in the Income and Employment
My SOA has a rank of 350 –
what does this mean?
Your SOA is the 350th
most deprived SOA in Northern Ireland. The ranks are from 1 (most deprived) to
890 (least deprived).
My SOA has a score of 0.5
– what does this mean?
this score for the Income or Employment domain?
yes – if you multiply this score by 100 this gives you the percentage of people
in your SOA who are classed as suffering from that type of deprivation. For all
other scores, please see below:
no – the number itself is relatively meaningless. The score was derived from a
statistical procedure in order to create ranks for this domain. The only way
the score can be used is to understand the differences in magnitude between the
Are there population denominators available for the NI MDM 2005 measures and the new SOAs?
Yes, 2003 small-area population estimates for Super Output Areas are
available for the NI MDM 2005 and can be found in the Data Catalogue at the following link
Will the indicator data be released and can this be compared across the UK?
The Proximity to Services indicators have been released and can be found in the Data Catalogue page at the following link:
Proximity to Services.
We are currently looking at the potential to release indicators for other domains.
If they are released, they will also be included in the Data Catalogue page.
Can the NI MDM 2005 measures be compared across the UK?
You cannot compare the deprivation measures across the UK as data definitions, collection methods and base populations are not the same across Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.
Also the UK regions have produced their measures in different years. For further
details on this click here: Indices of Deprivation across the UK