Mnemonic: hh_deprivation
Applicability: Household
Type: Derived variable


The dimensions of deprivation used to classify households are indicators based on four selected household characteristics.


A household is classified as deprived in the education dimension if no one has at least level 2 education and no one aged 16 to 18 years is a full-time student.


A household is classified as deprived in the employment dimension if any member, not a full-time student, is either unemployed or economically inactive due to long-term sickness or disability.


A household is classified as deprived in the health dimension if any person in the household has general health that is bad or very bad or is identified as disabled.

People who have assessed their day-to-day activities as limited by long-term physical or mental health conditions or illnesses are considered disabled. This definition of a disabled person meets the harmonised standard for measuring disability and is in line with the Equality Act (2010).


A household is classified as deprived in the housing dimension if the household's accommodation is either overcrowded, in a shared dwelling, or has no central heating.


Total number of categories: 6

Code Name
1 Household is not deprived in any dimension
2 Household is deprived in one dimension
3 Household is deprived in two dimensions
4 Household is deprived in three dimensions
5 Household is deprived in four dimensions
-8 Does not apply*

*Households with no usual residents.

Quality information

Caution should be used in interpreting this variable as a direct measure of deprivation or in comparing results with those from the 2011 Census. Please read the demography and migration quality information for Census 2021 before using this data.

Read more in our Demography and migration quality information for Census 2021 methodology.


Read about how we developed and tested the questions for Census 2021.

Comparability with the 2011 Census

Not comparable

This variable cannot be compared with the Household deprivation variable used in the 2011 Census. This is because there have been changes to the variables used to calculate this measure, particularly in the education and housing dimensions. For more information, please refer specifically to these variables.

What does not comparable mean?

A variable that is not comparable means that it cannot be compared with a variable from the 2011 Census.

England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland comparisons

Highly comparable

What does highly comparable mean?

A variable that is highly comparable means that it can be directly compared with the variable from Scotland and Northern Ireland. The questions and options that people could choose from may be slightly different, for example the order of the options may be swapped around, but the data collected is the same.

Find out more about variables produced for Census 2021 in Northern Ireland and Census 2022 in Scotland.

Census 2021 data that uses this variable

We use variables from Census 2021 data to show findings in different ways.

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Alternatively, you can also create a custom dataset.