As a result public discussion of social issues is now increasingly focussed not on the mass of the people, but on those suffering extreme misfortune. When concerned for this unfortunate minority concentrates on income, its members have been referred to as "poor". Monetary income is not, however, the sole problem; the term "deprived" extends to cover those with bad housing, ill-health, or any of a range of other misfortunes. And when emphasis is placed on the probable tendency for a small group of people to suffer on a number of different counts, they have been described as "multiply deprived". This paper describes the plans for a study to investigate the problem of these multiply deprived people.