Health Heart



Information component Pg 4 Health Summary – Indicator No. 4
Subject category / domain(s) Our Communities
Indicator name (* Indicator title in health profile) Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (*Children in Poverty)
PHO with lead responsibility Yorkshire and Humber
Date of PHO dataset creation Feb 2007
Indicator definition Prevalence of children living in families receiving means-tested benefits, percentage resident population, under-16 years, 2001, persons.(part of Indices of Deprivation 2004 – Income deprivation domain)
Geography England, GOR, Local Authority: Counties, County Districts, Metropolitan County Districts, Unitary Authorities, London Boroughs
Timeliness Indicator is not regularly updated. Published 2004. 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 Child poverty operationalized as children living in families reliant on means-tested benefits.This is used as a proxy for the widely-used HBAI (Households Below Average Income) indicator, which is not available at local authority level.
Rationale:Public Health Importance Growing up in poverty damages children’s health and well-being, adversely affecting their future health and life chances as adults. Ensuring a good environment in childhood, especially early childhood, is important. A considerable body of evidence links adverse childhood circumstances to poor child health outcomes and future adult ill health. Adverse outcomes include higher rates of: mortality from accidents. poor dental health, child mortality, low educational attainment, low birth weight, childhood obesity, school exclusions, infant mortality, teenage pregnancy some infections, substance misuse, mental illhealth.By international standards the comparative picture of child poverty in the UK has been poor. International variation in child poverty levels shows that child poverty is not inevitable. In other countries experiencing similar demographic changes and economic pressures to the UK, children have been protected from escalating child poverty by social policy favouring progressive taxation, higher spending on social protection for children. Eradicating child poverty is now a national policy target.
Rationale: Purpose behind the inclusion of the indicator To monitor and help reduce health inequalities.
Rationale:Policy relevance · Opportunity for All · Every Child Matters · Children’s National Service Framework
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 child poverty for that local authority when compared to the England average value.A low indicator value (amber circle in health summary chart) represents a statistically significant lower level of estimated child poverty for that local authority when compared to the England average 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 may be living in income deprivation but may not be entitled to claim benefits.
Interpretation: Potential for error due to bias and confounding Some groups are known to have a low propensity to claim the benefits to which they are entitled, and may be over-represented in certain areas.
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 Children living in families receiving means-tested benefits
Indicator definition: Statistic Percentage of resident population
Indicator definition: Gender Persons
Indicator definition: age group Under 16 years
Indicator definition: period 2001
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 & Denominator – Department of Communities and Local Government
Data extraction: source URL
Data extraction: date Data extracted from source as at: Feb 2007
Numerator: definition The published data consists of the number of children per SOA and the proportion of those children living in poverty.  These numbers are multiplied together for each SOA in the local authority, and aggregated to produce a local authority numerator. Those counted as living in poverty are children under 16 living in families receiving Income Support or Jobseekers Allowance (Income Based), or in families receiving Working Families Tax Credit/Disabled Persons Tax Credit whose equivalized income is below 60% of median before housing costs.
Numerator: source The number of children resident in each SOA can be found The proportion of children living in poverty can be found at
Denominator: definition Estimated number of children resident in each SOA mid-2001 (as supplied with Indices of Deprivation and used in numerator)
Denominator: source Department for Community and Local Government
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. Both the numerator and the denominator are subject to rounding error.


Numerator: extraction Simple download from DCLG website.
Numerator: aggregation /allocation The set of benefits is such that only one can be claimed at a time. Rounding error is liable to occur in the process of aggregating from SOAs to Local Authorities.
Numerator data caveats Population estimates are rounded to the nearest multiple of ten.
Denominator data caveats Local authority denominator derived by aggregating SOA-level child population estimates.  Each of these is rounded to the nearest multiple of ten, so rounding error is liable to accumulate.
Methods used to calculate indicator value The numerator and denominator were derived as explained above.  The quotient was expressed as a percentage.
Small Populations: How Isles of Scilly and City of London populations have been dealt with Excluded.
Disclosure Control Every effort has been made by the DWP to ensure that data do not allow the disclosure of confidential information.
Confidence Intervals calculation method Poisson confidence intervals have been calculated using functions supplied by StatsDirect.  See CI in spreadsheets.pdf and and proportion confidence.xls.  Methodology approved by the Health Profiles Subgroup of APHO Technical Group.

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