When measuring deprivation in districts, six separate measures have been devised to take into account the variation in population size and concentration of deprivation.

The average of super output areas (SOA) scores is the population weighted average of the combined scores for the SOAs in a district.
This measure also describes the district as a whole, taking into account the full range of SOA scores across a district. The advantage of the average of SOA score measure is that it describes the SOA by retaining the fact that the more deprived SOA may have more ‘extreme’ scores, which is not revealed to the same extent if the ranks are used.

This measure is calculated by averaging the SOA scores in each district after they have been population weighted. The larger the resultant district level score, the more deprived the district. And as for all of the district level summaries, a rank of ‘one’ is assigned to the most deprived district.

The other four of the five measures of deprivation in districts are:
  • income scale/employment scale
  • average of SOA ranks
  • extent
  • local concentration

Information taken from ‘The English Indices of Deprivation 2004’, published by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM).