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Table 1 Structure of the SDS measure: Dimensions, indicators, and weights

From: Exploring the potential for a new measure of socioeconomic deprivation status to monitor health inequality

Dimensions of Disadvantage


Deprived if…



Years of schooling

No eligible household member has completed at least six years of schooling.a


School attendance

Any school-aged child is not attending school up to the age at which they would complete class 8.b


Living Standards

Cooking fuel

A household cooks using solid fuel, such as dung, agricultural crop, shrubs, wood, charcoal, or coal



The household has unimproved or no sanitation facility or it is improved but shared with other households.c


Drinking water

The household’s source of drinking water is not safe or safe drinking water is a 30-min or longer walk from home, roundtrip.d



The household has no electricity.e



The household has inadequate housing materials in any of the three components: floor, roof, or walls.f



The household does not own more than one of these assets: radio, TV, telephone, computer, animal cart, bicycle, motorbike, or refrigerator, and does not own a car or truck


  1. Source: Based on [14]
  2. aIf all individuals in the household are in an age group where they should have formally completed 6 or more years of schooling, but none have this achievement, then the household is deprived. However, if any individuals aged 10 years and older reported 6 years or more of schooling, the household is not deprived. In the case that a household does not have eligible members the household is considered as non-deprived
  3. bData sources for the age children start compulsory primary school: DHS survey reports and
  4. cA household is considered to have access to improved sanitation if it has some type of flush toilet or latrine, or ventilated improved pit or composting toilet, provided that they are not shared
  5. dA household has access to safe drinking water if the water source is any of the following types: piped water, public tap, borehole or pump, protected well, protected spring or rainwater, and it is within a 30-min walk, round trip
  6. eA number of countries do not collect data on electricity because of 100% coverage. In such cases, we identify all households in the country as non-deprived in electricity
  7. fDeprived if floor is made of natural materials or if dwelling has no roof or walls or if either the roof or walls are constructed using natural or rudimentary materials