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Updated atlas of socioeconomic deprivation

30 June 2008

Media Release

Updated atlas of socioeconomic deprivation in NZ released


The Ministry of Health today released an updated atlas of New Zealand’s socioeconomic landscape, which includes maps showing socioeconomic differences in and between the 21 district health boards.

“Unlike its two previous editions, the Atlas of Socioeconomic Deprivation in New Zealand NZ Dep 2006 is based on the DHB and Territorial Authority (TA) structure to allow patterns of deprivation in and between TAs to be compared to patterns in and between DHBs,” said Deborah Roche, Deputy Director-General, Health and Disability Systems Strategy.

“The atlas also includes a CD containing the NZ Deprivation Index 2006 and the maps of the DHBs to improve the accessibility and usability of the Index.”

The current atlas updates two editions released in 2000 and 2004, and is based on the Index of socioeconomic deprivation for 2006.

The Index, first made in 1991, shows a graduated scale of deprivation based on variables that reflect eight types of deprivation. A score of 1 represents the least deprived 10 per cent of areas while 10 is given to the most deprived 10 per cent of areas.

The variables include income, home ownership, family support, employment, qualifications and transport.

The Index is used to monitor inequalities across a range of health indicators, including hospitalisations and mortality. It is also widely used for the application of funding formulas for health services by DHBs.

In research, the Index is a tool to determine the relationship between socioeconomic status and health outcomes. Tobacco smoking, for example, is known to be strongly related to deprivation. Research has also shown a correlation between incidence rates of cervical cancer and socioeconomic deprivation.

The current atlas of socioeconomic deprivation is available on the Ministry’s website: http://www.moh.govt.nz/


ENDS


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