The association between poverty, disease and death has long been recognized. The economic growth
observed during the twentieth century had a very positive effect on the population’s living conditions,
improving their health. However, even under the referred progress conditions, the social structure
of health has persisted, resulting in the maintenance and even increasing of the social inequalities
in health. The economic crisis of the new century points out the end of a prosperity cycle; increasing
levels of unemployment and poverty, reduction of wages, collapse of social assistance, among others,
will lead to living conditions decay, worsening social (and health) inequalities.
Besides poverty, mainly understood as an individual attribute, socioeconomic deprivation,
conceptualized as a contextual attribute, has been extensively associated with health. Socioeconomic
deprived areas can be defined as living spaces of impoverished populations. But, more than this,
they are territories which restrict the chances of improving the standard of living, by creating and
perpetuating social (and health) inequities. Therefore, these spaces have an active role in maximizing
social and health risks because they amplify individual vulnerability due to poverty.
This paper seeks to identify socioeconomic deprivation areas in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area (AML),
and its evolution between 2001 and 2011, proceeding with the development and implementation
of a composite indicator of multiple deprivation (IPM) to LMA parishes. The results highlight the
variation in levels of socioeconomic deprivation in the studied area, which shows deep asymmetries
in both 2001 and 2011. They also emphasize the harmful conditions of the first decade of this century,
characterized by an increased socioeconomic deprivation along with its spatial concentration. This
harmful evolution, which increases social inequalities, is mainly affecting certain areas, identified
in this work. Expectedly, it will have implications for their people’s health, implications that will be
studied in a near work.
Keywords: Socioeconomic deprivation; area deprivation; Lisbon Metropolitan Area; 2001-2011 evolution