Indices of Deprivation

Indices of Deprivation

SASPRI has produced a series of indices of deprivation for South and Southern Africa that have been developed using census data to profile multiple deprivation at local levels. The basic approach, derived from work in the UK, is to identify ‘domains’ of deprivation which measure a specific type of deprivation. These domains are comprised of one or more indicators which are combined to give a summary measure for each domain. The domains can then be combined into an overall ‘index of multiple deprivation’.

The original South African study to use this approach – the South African Index of Multiple Deprivation (SAIMD) 2001 – was undertaken at ward level using the 2001 Census. This was followed by refinements to develop a small area (‘datazone’) level index for 2001. The 2001 work was updated to 2007 at municipality level using the Community Survey, and a modelled SAIMD at datazone level for 2007 was also produced. In addition, there are child-focused indices for 2001 and 2007. Reports from these studies are available here.

Using the 2011 Census, the SAIMD 2011 was constructed at ward level. Most recently, the 2022 Census and other data sources have been used to construct a municipality level SAIMD 2022. The SAIMD 2011 was used as the blueprint for the construction of the SAIMD 2022 so that change over time could be explored using common indicators and a common methodology.

The earlier ward and datazone level indices have been used in many ways in South Africa by national and provincial government, including targeting areas for the take‐up of the Child Support Grant, prioritising wards for specific anti-poverty interventions, and in the case of the City of Johannesburg, as part of the mechanism to target its indigency policy.

SASPRI, with UNDP and the Namibian National Planning Commission, has also produced the Namibian Index of Multiple Deprivation 2011 at constituency and datazone level.