Social Indicators Research

, Volume 139, Issue 2, pp 745–785 | Cite as

Measuring Change Over Time in Socio-economic Deprivation and Health in an Urban Context: The Case Study of Genoa

  • Stefano Landi
  • Enrico Ivaldi
  • Angela Testi
Original Research


The inverse relationship between socioeconomic and health status has been well established in the literature. Disparities in health status due to socioeconomic conditions are unfair and can be prevented through appropriate health and social policies. The relation between socioeconomic factors and health outcomes can be proven at both the individual and geographic level. In this study, we follow the second stream of literature. The objective of the study is to measure how deprivation changes over time in an urban context, finding out whether socioeconomic inequalities association with health outcomes endure over time. To do so, a census-based deprivation index (GDI—Genoa Deprivation Index) have been developed using three aggregation methods—additive, Mazziotta–Pareto, and Pena distance. The innovation of the work is the attempt to evaluate deprivation over time, trying to formalize a methodological path replicable in other situation. Health status has been assessed using the standardized (premature) mortality ratios. The findings reveal that although deprivation inequalities continue to exist in Genoa, global levels have been decreasing. In addition, the rate of premature mortality has shown improvements. Despite this, GDI scores continue to be associated with premature deaths: individuals living in deprived areas report consistently high standardised mortality ratios.


Deprivation Health status Mazziotta–Pareto Genoa Deprivation Index Standardized mortality ratios Deprivation over time Health inequalities Socioeconomic inequalities 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and Business StudiesUniversity of GenoaGenoaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of GenoaGenoaItaly
  3. 3.Department of ManagementUniversity “Ca’ Foscari” VeniceVeniceItaly

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