The 2013 Socioeconomic Deprivation Index shows little has
changed in the patterns of poverty in Otago, Timothy Brown
The results of the latest Socioeconomic Deprivation Index
show areas from Queenstown Lakes are among the least deprived
in Otago, while Dunedin's southern suburbs are among the most
Very little had changed since the last deprivation index was
produced in 2006 and that was to be expected, co-researcher
and University of Otago health sciences pro-vice-chancellor
Prof Peter Crampton said.
The data, released last Friday, provided a thorough analysis
of relative wealth and poverty within New Zealand and
incorporated factors such as income, employment, home
ownership, home size and home access to the internet.
Otago had relatively lower proportions of people living in
the most deprived areas, with about 5000 Otago residents
living in an area with a deprivation score of 10 (which
represents the areas among the 10% of most socioeconomically
deprived in New Zealand) and about 25,000 living in an area
with a deprivation score of 1 (which represents the areas
among the 10% of least deprived in New Zealand).
Areas such as South Dunedin and Caledonian, which were among
the most deprived 10% of areas in New Zealand, had been there
since the first index was produced after the 1991 census.
''The underlying patterns of wealth and poverty are slow to
change and the geography of poverty doesn't change rapidly,''
Prof Crampton said.
It would take generations for the most deprived areas to have
increased access to jobs, income and services to change the
socioeconomic ''character'' of the areas, he said.
Areas such as the Otago University area, which had moved from
a deprivation score of 10 to 9, had experienced some change
but ''that movement is minor and doesn't indicate a change in
the area's character'', he said.
''The overall theme here is one of underlying stability [in
deprivation],'' he said.
The census data on smoking showed the prevalence of smokers
in an area was a good indicator of area deprivation.
The data would be used to allocate government funding for
health and other social services.
Socioeconomic Deprivation Index
The 2013 Socioeconomic Deprivation Index was calculated using
census data about home internet access, income, employment,
qualifications, home ownership, the prevalence of single
parent families, home size and access to transport.
• First produced following the 1991 census.
• Areas are assigned scores of 1-10. Each score level
represents 10% of the country. Areas with score of 1 among
least deprived 10%; areas with score of 10 are among the most
• Used to allocate government funding and for research.
• Each area has population of at least 100 usually resident
people. 23,751 such areas were represented in the 2013
Socioeconomic Deprivation Index.