As a complement to health indicator maps, increasing interest has arisen over the last few years in identifying context-related variables to classify geographical areas on the basis of demographic, social, economic and environmental features. Among these variables, the rural or urban nature of the geographical area in question, or its degree of deprivation both play a significant role in terms of socio-economic characterisation. However, international consensus is still lacking vis-à-vis the operational definition of these concepts in each country. Research conducted by DEMAP in the field has led to establishing two indices – rurality and deprivation – which are used to categorise Spanish towns on the basis of their habitat and socio-economic characteristics.
The methodology used in this research, as well as the links between rurality and mortality have been published in Social Science & Medicine, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, and Social Indicators Research, amongst others. The main outcomes of this line of work are described in the publications and products sections on this web site.