STUDY OBJECTIVE--To assess the level of agreement between those small areas selected as materially deprived by indicators derived from the 1991 census and those indicators derived from local authority benefit data. DESIGN--Census indices of deprivation and local authority benefits data were collected, compiled, and correlated for three districts in Yorkshire at enumeration district (ED) level. The composition of the "most deprived" quintiles of pairs of indicators was compared. PARTICIPANTS--Data were obtained from the 1991 census for the Bradford, Kirklees, and Rotherham districts. Community charge benefit and council tax benefit data were also obtained for all claimants in the three districts. MAIN RESULTS--Correlation coefficients between indicators of deprivation from the census and from the benefits data were shown to be quite high. However, the composition of EDs in the highest quintiles of pairs of indicators showed marked differences. CONCLUSIONS--Census indicators of deprivation and local authority benefits data select broadly similar groups of "deprived" EDs. Where deprivation indicators disagree is in the composition of specific quintiles which is due partly to methodological differences in the construction of the indicators, partly to deficiencies of the benefit data, and partly to the different aspects of deprivation which the various indicators measure.
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