Some work I was involved in over the past couple of years has now been published by CLG (the government department responsible for planning and housing in England). It proposes a typology of deprived areas, based on population mobility.
Four types of area are suggested: 'isolates', 'transits', 'escalators' and 'gentrifiers'. The analysis is based on migration data from the 2001 UK Census. A research summary is available, but here's a quick synopsis.
Some areas are not well connected with less deprived areas and the majority of people tend to move to and from similarly deprived areas (isolates). In some deprived areas, people move in from and out to less deprived areas (transits). In other cases, people move into deprived areas from similarly deprived areas but move out to less deprived areas (escalators). Finally, we have those areas affected by processes of displacement where people move in from less deprived areas and out to similarly or more deprived areas (gentrifiers). These different kinds of patterns have implications for policy.
For more on this work (led by Professor Brian Robson at CUPS), see the links above. There is also an academic paper in Environment and Planning A.