Quality & Quantity

, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 1337–1346 | Cite as

Deprived or not deprived? Comparing the measured extent of material deprivation using the UK government’s and the Poverty and Social Exclusion surveys’ method of calculating material deprivation

  • Morag C. Treanor


Poverty can either be measured directly, through standards of living such as material deprivation, or indirectly through resources available, usually income. Research shows that the optimum measure of poverty combines these methods, a fact that the UK government took cognisance of in its tripartite measure of child poverty. For use in a birth cohort study, two methods of calculating material deprivation were tested: the method used by the UK government taken from the Family Resources Survey (FRS), and the methods used in the Poverty and Social Exclusion (PSE) study at Bristol University. Results show that the former measure, compared to the latter measure, underestimates the depth and extent of material deprivation among families with young children in Scotland.


Material deprivation Child poverty UK Scotland Quantitative methodology 



I would like to thank the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for the funding for my PhD (award number ES/HO13008/1) at the University of Edinburgh. I would like to thank my supervisors, Professor Kay Tisdall and Dr. Paul Norris for their support. I would also like to give my special thanks to Professor David Gordon for providing me with the details on how to undertake the analysis using the PSE method pioneered at Bristol University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Research on Families and RelationshipsUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK

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