The Swedish UPA score: an administrative tool for identification of underprivileged areas

Scand J Soc Med. 1996 Sep;24(3):177-84. doi: 10.1177/140349489602400309.


The purpose was to construct a Swedish social deprivation index analogous to the underprivileged area (UPA) score, used in the UK to distribute resources to general practice for patients resident in the most underprivileged areas. UPA scores were calculated using 1990 Swedish census data and the 1992 unemployment and migration registers for all 8,502 SAMS (small area market statistics) areas with more than 50 inhabitants. Selection of the eight variables included in the score and weights attached to each were derived from a national survey of general practitioners in the UK representing the degree to which they considered that each factor increased their workload or pressure on services. The UPA score for each area is the sum of the eight normalised (arc sin square root), standardised (z scores) and weighted variables for that area. The distribution of UPA scores ranged from -79.13, in the most affluent areas to 46.10 in the most underprivileged areas. It was found that a wide range of social deprivation exists at small area level.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • England
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Poverty Areas*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Sweden
  • Wales