What is the Northern Ireland Multiple Deprivation Measure (NIMDM)?

Northern Ireland Multiple Deprivation Measure – further FAQs
MDM / Domains / Indicators - general
What is the Northern Ireland Multiple Deprivation Measure (NIMDM)?
The Northern Ireland Multiple Deprivation Measure 2010 (NI MDM 2010) is a measure of multiple
deprivation at the small area level. The model of multiple deprivation which underpins the NIMDM
2010 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.
What is a domain?
There are seven ‘domains' which make up the Multiple Deprivation Measure and describe the ‘type’ of
deprivation they cover. The domains are as follows:
Income deprivation
Employment deprivation
Health Deprivation & Disability deprivation
Education & Training deprivation
Proximity to Services deprivation
Living Environment deprivation
Crime & Social Disorder deprivation
The overall multiple deprivation measure is a weighted average of the seven domains of deprivation,
with weights of 25%, 25%, 15%, 15%, 10%, 5% and 5% respectively. The weights assigned to
domains in the NIMDM 2010 were the same as those assigned to domains in the NIMDM 2005 and
the 2001 index of multiple deprivation. For more information on choosing domain weights please see
NIMDM Domain Weights document.
What is an indicator?
Each domain contains a number of indicators or variables. There are a total of 52 indicators used in
the overall measures, with the majority of indicators relating to the time period 2007-2009. 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.
Using Ranks
What should I use – scores or ranks?
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 a SOA 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 domains.
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 rank of 300 and my neighbouring SOA has a rank of 100 – what does this mean?
From this information it can be said that the SOA with rank 100 is more deprived than the SOA ranked
300. It cannot be said how much more or less deprived each SOA is. For example, it cannot be said
the one SOA is three times more or less deprived than the other.
My SOA has a score of 0.5 – what does this mean?
Is this score for the Income or Employment domain?
If 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:
If 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 ranks.
My SOA has a rank of 890 - is it the most affluent SOA?
Not necessarily - the NIMDM is a measure of deprivation and not affluence. Indicators were chosen
that best measure different aspects of deprivation, not to measure the lack of affluence.
Are there population denominators available for the NI MDM 2010 measures and the SOAs?
Yes, small-area population estimates for Super Output Areas have been calculated for the time period
2001 - 2008. Information is available for Outputs and Super Output Area and can be found on NINIS
under the Population theme.
Will the indicator data be released?
The Proximity to Services indicators have been released and can be found on NINIS under the
Deprivation theme.
Can the NI MDM measures be compared across the UK?
It is not advised to 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
However if you have a specific policy use and would like to discuss, please get in touch with us via
Comparing 2010 and 2005 results
Can the NI MDM 2010 and 2005 measures be used to assess whether deprivation has improved
in my area?
The NIMDM is a relative measure of deprivation. As such areas are ranked from most deprived to
least deprived. Using only the ranks of the deprivation domains it is not possible to say if deprivation
in an area has increased, decreased or remained the same.
For example an area moving from rank 25 to rank 100 may have done so as deprivation in the area
has lessened while all other areas have remained the same, may have the same level of deprivation
in the area as in previous years while concentration of deprivation in other areas has increased, may
have improved a little while other areas have improved but less, may have increased concentrations
of deprivation while deprivation in other areas has increased more.
The NIMDM 2005 contained 43 indicators while the NIMDM 2010 contains 52. Although both
NIMDMs were intended to measure deprivation the NIMDM 2010 indicators have been chosen taking
account of current data availability, so that deprivation is measured as best as possible.
Why has the deprivation rank in my area changed so much?
Where there are large changes in deprivation rank it may be due to changes in the level of deprivation
in the area. Also it could be due to changes in the population in the area. Has a new development
been built or houses demolished? Either of these could affect the deprivation rank. It is worth
considering changes in deprivation ranks alongside changes in population.
Where can I get a copy of the report?
Hard copies are available on request via 028 90 348 111 or deprivation.nisra@dfpni.gov.uk
Alternatively you can download the report from the NISRA website