Today saw the release by the Department for Communities and Local Government of the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) for 2019. The IMD is a metric which proves statistics on the relative level of deprivation across England. Similar measures are also available for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The index ranks each of the small areas known as Lowest Super Output Ares, from 1 to 32,844 based on a set of factors called domains. These domains include:

  • Barriers to Housing and Services
  • Crime
  • Education, Skills and Training
  • Employment
  • Health
  • Income
  • Living Environment

Typically uses for the Index of Multiple DeprivationD have been to allow for comparison between these small areas across Local Authorities, Fire and Rescue Services and Police Force to understand where the highest degree of deprivation exists. There are some caveats around the use of the IMD, for example, if dropped in a particular area it would be difficult to articulate why this area is ranked #23 on the list, and what is causing a higher degree of deprivation than a neighbouring area ranked #25. However, what tends to be more useful is understanding that both of these LSOAs appear in the top 10% of deprived LSOAs within England.

A common request that comes up when working with Police Forces and Fire Services is the need to understand better the communities in which they serve. The IMD can help to highlight areas of deprivation, with the interrogation of the relevant domains going some way to explaining what is driving the high score.

The dashboard below provides some context as to deprivation by Force as well as the changes that have been seen since 2015. One example would be Northants Police as a Force that sees a range of deprivation across the county with 24 LSOAS (5.7%) appear in decile 1 (the 10% most deprived), with 47 areas appearing in the decile 10 the least deprived. What might be interesting for those in Northants is the changes that have taken place in the ranking, with 1 LSOA Northampton 006D dropping 3 deciles, from 8 to 5, indicating that this LSOA has become more deprived.

A similar example can be seen in Devon and Cornwall, where the change in the distribution has on the whole been positive, with only 11.4% of areas moving into the more deprived decile, while 22.1% of areas have moved up to a decile with lower deprivation.

For more information on previous analysis of the Index of Multiple Deprivation, see our Blogpost from March 2018.