Older People’s Index of Multiple Deprivation

2013 Older People’s Index of Multiple Deprivation (OPIMD13)

The Older People’s Index of Multiple Deprivation (OPIMD) is a new measure designed to identify concentrations of deprivation among people aged 65 and over in New Zealand. The OPIMD measures deprivation at the individual level with aggregated results available at various geographic scales.

The 2013 census showed that 14.3% of the population was aged 65 and over and this increased to 15.2% in the 2018 census. The proportion of people aged 65 and over is projected to increase to 22% in 2032. There is strong evidence of social gradients in health outcomes among the population aged 65 and over, but the older population is largely excluded from standard measures of socioeconomic position (SEP) and area deprivation, which typically use variables such as employment and education attainment that are more appropriate for working age people. Therefore, as longevity in old age increases, we believe it is increasingly important to improve our understanding of the socio-economic realities of older people (defined here as people aged 65 and over).

The OPIMD uses routinely collected data from government departments, census data and methods comparable to current international deprivation indices to measure different forms of disadvantage, using data specifically for the population aged 65 and over. It is comprised of 15 indicators grouped into six domains of deprivation: Income, Housing, Health, Assets, Connectedness, and Access to services. The OPIMD is the combination of these six domains, which may be used individually or in combination to explore the geography of deprivation among older people and its association with a given health or social outcome.

The OPIMD provides a more accurate view of deprivation among the older population in New Zealand compared to measures of deprivation for the general population. Our vision is for the OPIMD to be widely used for community advocacy, research, policy and resource allocation, providing a better measurement of deprivation among older people in New Zealand, improved outcomes for kuia and kaumātua, equity of service provision, and a more consistent approach to reporting and monitoring the social climate of New Zealand.