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The 2011 Pobal HP Deprivation Index (SA)

The 2011 Pobal HP Deprivation Index is the latest in a serious of deprivation indices developed by Trutz Haase and Jonathan Pratschke and funded by Pobal. Based on the just recently released data from the 2011 Census of Population, the index shows the level of overall affluence and deprivation at the level of 18,488 Small Areas in 2006 and 2011, using identical measurement scales. The index reveals the dramatic decline in relative affluence and deprivation, represented in the fall of the mean index score from 0 in 2006 to -7.0 in 2011.

Whilst the overall leftward shift of the Absolute HP Index Scores is in line with the depth of the current economic crisis, one of the most interesting insights revealed with the help of the HP Deprivation Index is how the economic downturn has affected different parts of the country. To this end, it is helpful to recall some of the key findings from previous analysis.

The analysis of ED-level HP Deprivation Index Scores for the 1991 to 2006 period highlighted the overriding importance of Ireland’s urban centres for the spatial distribution of affluence and deprivation. “The most affluent areas of the country are distributed in concentric rings around the main population centres, mainly demarcating the urban commuter belts. The measures show how rapidly these rings of affluence expanded during the 1990s, as large-scale private housing development took place in the outer urban periphery, generating high concentrations of relatively affluent young couples.” (Haase and Pratschke, 2008).

Comparing the relative changes in the HP Index Scores between 2006 and 2011, we can conclude that the dominance of Ireland’s urban environs has continued unabated, albeit in a differentiated manner. In stark contrast to the 1991 to 2006 period, the previous growth belts, particularly those located at the outer periphery of the Greater Dublin Region have seen their fortunes most strongly reversed, whilst the five city areas have withstood the economic downturn comparatively well. Ireland as a whole has seen a decline in the Absolute HP Index Score by 6.6 points[1]. By comparison, Dublin City has declined by 3.8 points, Cork City by 4.1 points, Limerick City by 6.2, Galway City by 4.9 and Waterford City by 5.8 points. Overall, the waning tide has lowered all boats, but the cities have declined less than the rest of the country.

In contrast, the counties most affected by the decline are the distant commuter counties outside the Dublin Region. Kildare, Meath, Wexford, Roscommon, Cavan, Laois and Offaly are the counties that have experienced the most significant decline, as expressed in the largest reduction in their Relative HP Index Scores.

The results for the new 2011 Pobal HP Deprivation Index are contained in a number of documents, all of which can be downloaded below.



The 2011 Pobal HP Deprivation Index is available as an interactive mapping tool at 

  •  The 2011 Pobal HP Deprivation Index for Small Areas (SA): Datasets SA (available in SPSS, DBF, Excel)

Access to the SA-level dataset is subject to a license agreement. For further details see Register of Use

[1]   Note: The unweighted change in the mean of the 18,488 Absolute HP Index Scores is 7.0. However, when referring to aggregate areas, the correct measure to use is the population-weighted aggregate index score, and the change in the mean for Ireland as a whole is 6.6 points.