This article presents a new approach to index development, extending the methods used by Townsend, Mack and Lansley and Halleröd to measure deprivation in the developed world. The index combines three ‘objective’ dimensions of deprivation (i.e. monetary, consumption and work-related), and weighs them according to subjective perceptions regarding which items are more critical to deprivation. A particular application of factor analysis to determining deprivation measures and their corresponding weights leads to a more sophisticated and theoretically robust index than those used previously. The index draws on data from interviews with both partners of 17 households randomly sampled from a Turkish squatter settlement. The article contends that the methodological and substantive advantages of this approach are relevant to both developing and developed contexts.