Health Heart



Information component Pg 4 Health Summary – Indicator No. 1
Subject category / domain(s) Our Communities
Indicator name (* Indicator title in health profile) Combined Income Indicator (*Income deprivation)
PHO with lead responsibility Yorkshire and Humber
Date of PHO dataset creation Feb 2007
Indicator definition Adults and children living in families receiving means-tested benefits, proportion, all ages, 2003, persons.
Geography England, GOR, Local Authority: Counties, County Districts, Metropolitan County Districts, Unitary Authorities, London Boroughs
Timeliness Indicator is not regularly updated. Published October 2006. Indicator will probably be next published as part of Indices of Deprivation in 2008, but the definition is likely to have changed to reflect changes in the benefits system.  Therefore time-trend analysis is not appropriate.
Rationale:What this indicator purports to measure Income deprivation operationalised as those living in families reliant on means-tested benefits.
Rationale:Public Health Importance The differences in incomes between those on means-tested benefits and those with other sources of income are a major determinant of health inequality in the United Kingdom.Many studies and analyses have demonstrated the association of increasingly poor health with increasing material disadvantage. For instance, all cause mortality, smoking prevalence self-reported long standing illness are all correlated with income deprivation. If income inequalities decrease, health inequalities are likely to decrease also.
Rationale: Purpose behind the inclusion of the indicator To monitor and help reduce health inequalities.
Rationale:Policy relevance Acheson D. Report of the Independent Inquiry into Inequalities in Health. London: TSO, 1998.Department of Health. The NHS Plan. London: TSO, Department of Health. Tackling Health Inequalities: A Programme for Action. Department of Health, HM Treasury. Public Service Agreements 2005-2008: Chapter 3 Department of Health
Interpretation: What a high / low level of indicator value means A high indicator value (red circle in health summary chart) represents a statistically significant higher level of income deprivation for that local authority when compared to the national value.A low indicator value (amber circle in health summary chart) represents a statistically significant lower level of estimated income deprivation for that local authority when compared to the national value.
Interpretation: Potential for error due to type of measurement method Benefits claims are an imperfect measure of income deprivation because some eligible families do not claim their entitlement. Others are living in income deprivation but not entitled to benefits.Accuracy is affected by rounding error, as the count of income deprived persons in each Super Output Area is rounded to the nearest multiple of five.
Interpretation: Potential for error due to bias and confounding Some groups such as older people are known to have a low propensity to claim the benefits to which they are entitled, and may be over-represented in certain areas. ONS have suppressed counts below 10, which may lead to under-estimation.
Confidence Intervals: Definition and purpose A confidence interval is a range of values that is normally used to describe the uncertainty around a point estimate of a quantity, for example, a mortality rate. This uncertainty arises as factors influencing the indicator are subject to chance occurrences that are inherent in the world around us. These occurrences result in random fluctuations in the indicator value between different areas and time periods. In the case of indicators based on a sample of the population, uncertainty also arises from random differences between the sample and the population itself.The stated value should therefore be considered as only an estimate of the true or ‘underlying’ value. Confidence intervals quantify the uncertainty in this estimate and, generally speaking, describe how much different the point estimate could have been if the underlying conditions stayed the same, but chance had led to a different set of data. The wider is the confidence interval the greater is the uncertainty in the estimate.Confidence intervals are given with a stated probability level. In Health Profiles 2007 this is 95%, and so we say that there is a 95% probability that the interval covers the true value. The use of 95% is arbitrary but is conventional practice in medicine and public health. The confidence intervals have also been used to make comparisons against the national value. For this purpose the national value has been treated as an exact reference value rather than as an estimate and, under these conditions, the interval can be used to test whether the value is statistically significantly different to the national. If the interval includes the national value, the difference is not statistically significant and the value is shown on the health summary chart with a white symbol. If the interval does not include the national value, the difference is statistically significant and the value is shown on the health summary chart with a red or amber symbol depending on whether it is worse or better than the national value respectively.


Indicator definition: Variable Adults and children living in families receiving means-tested benefits
Indicator definition: Statistic Percentage of resident population
Indicator definition: Gender Persons
Indicator definition: age group All ages
Indicator definition: period 2003
Indicator definition: scale
Geography: geographies available for this indicator from other providers Super Output Area (
Dimensions of inequality: subgroup analyses of this dataset available from other providers None.
Data extraction: Source Numerator – Neighbourhood StatisticsDenominator – Office for National Statistics
Data extraction: source URL Numerator – Denominator –
Data extraction: date Data extracted from source as at: Feb 2007
Numerator: definition The number of adults and children living in families receiving Income Based Job Seekers Allowance, at April 2003 + the number of adults and children living in families receiving Income Support, at April 2003 + the number of adults and children in relevant families receiving Working Tax Credit**, at April 2003 + the number of adults and children in relevant families receiving Disabled Person’s Tax Credit**, at April 2003 + the numbers of National Asylum Support Service supported asylum seekers in England in receipt of subsistence only and accommodation support (2003).**For this purpose, inclusion is restricted to those below 60% of national median income (equivalized income) excluding Housing Benefit and before housing costs.
Numerator: source DCLG created dataset for Neighbourhood Renewal Unit.  Published by Neighbourhood Statistics (
Denominator: definition Denominator data – ONS mid-year population estimates for 2003
Denominator: source Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Data quality: Accuracy and completeness The data are of very high quality as they are drawn from a 100% scan of administrative records and as a result are not subject to any sampling error. A small number of claimants whose details are held clerically are excluded. Comprehensive validation checks are undertaken by the DWP Information Centre to assess the accuracy, reliability, consistency and completeness of the data. Additional checks were undertaken by the University of Oxford to verify the quality of the data.


Numerator: extraction Simple download from Neighbourhood Statistics website.
Numerator: aggregation /allocation The set of benefits is such that only one can be claimed at a time.  The LA figures have been aggregated up from LSOA counts, which are rounded to the nearest multiple of five
Numerator data caveats ONS have suppressed any counts below 10.  These have been treated as zero counts when aggregating LSOA counts to LA level.
Denominator data caveats Census data and mid-year estimates are known to be deficient in their estimates of:- · Non-white populations · Full-time students · Men aged 20-39 · People living in nursing homes etc · Rough sleepers · Inner-city populations · Households of multiple occupation · Migrants
Methods used to calculate indicator value The number of persons in income deprivation was aggregated from Super Output Area to Local Authority level, and divided by the mid-year population estimate for the Local Authority.  The result was expressed as a percentage.
Small Populations: How Isles of Scilly and City of London populations have been dealt with Excluded.
Disclosure Control The indicator can be published as a combined indicator for the Economic Deprivation Domain. Every effort has been made by the DWP to ensure that data do not allow the disclosure of confidential information. All counts have been adjusted using probabilistic rounding to avoid the disclosure of any personal information. All cells have been rounded to base 5. In order to protect confidentiality, all counts lower than 10 have been suppressed. These are denoted by an “x” symbol in the cell.ONS carries out a number of checks to safeguard confidentiality. In accordance with standard procedures these datasets have been reviewed and approved for release.
Confidence Intervals calculation method Poisson confidence intervals have been calculated using functions supplied by StatsDirect.  See CI in spreadsheets.pdfand and proportion confidence.xls.  Methodology approved by the Health Profiles Subgroup of APHO Technical Group.

Posted in: Indicators