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A Child Well-Being Index at Small Area Level in England

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JournalChild Indicators Research
DatePublished - Jun 2009
Issue number2
Volume2
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)201-219
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The article describes the background and methods employed in developing an index of child well-being at small area level for England, the first of its kind. The index uses mainly administrative data on children covering seven domains of well-being: income, health, education, housing, environment, crime and children in need. Indicators are combined at "lower layer super output area" (LSOA) level. There are 32,482 of these geographical areas with populations of around 1,500. The indicators in the domains are combined using shrinkage estimation, and factor analysis is then used to combine indicators, where appropriate, with suitable weights. To combine domains into an overall index of child well-being, domain scores are ranked and the ranks transformed into an exponential distribution, then domains are combined with equal weights. The relationships between the domains are explored using correlation coefficients. An overall index is created at both LSOA and local or unitary authority levels. The results of the index are explored using mapping software and case studies. The strengths and weaknesses of the index are discussed and suggestions are made for improvements in further iterations.

    Research areas

  • Child-well being index, Small areas

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