A socioeconomic index, also known as a deprivation or poverty index, is a single numerical figure derived from multiple indicators, that gauges the socioeconomic status of a predefined area. It allows for direct comparisons of socioeconomic status between regions and is tremendously useful in identifying patterns and correlations between socioeconomic status and other attributes. However, it is not easy to construct as there are many indicators to choose from – income, expenditure, education, occupation, durable assets, etc. and it is difficult to objectively justify their relative importance. Several governments and organisations have developed socioeconomic indices for their respective regions that have been widely accepted as official: The National Statistics Socio-Economic Classification (NS-SEC) for the United Kingdom The European Deprivation Index (EDI) for Europe The Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) for Australia The New Zealand Deprivation Index (NZDep) for New Zealand The Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) Unfortunately, Sri Lanka does not yet have such an index.