Multiple deprivation index
Indices of multiple deprivation (IMD) are widely-used datasets within the UK to classify the relative deprivation (essentially a measure of poverty) of small areas. Multiple components of deprivation are weighted with different strengths and compiled into a single score of deprivation.
The calculation and publication of the indices is devolved and indices of multiple deprivation for Wales, Scotland, England, and Northern Ireland are calculated separately. While the components of deprivation that make up the overall deprivation score are similar in all four nations of the UK the weights assigned to each component, the size of the geographies for which deprivation scores are calculated, and the years of calculation are different. As a result levels of deprivation cannot be easily compared between nations.
The geography at which IMDs are produced varies across the nations of the UK and has varied over time. Currently the smallest geography for which IMDs are published is LSOA level in both England and Wales, data zone level for Scotland, and Super Output Area (SOA) for Northern Ireland. Early versions of the English IMDs were published at electoral ward and English local authority level.
The use of IMDs in social analysis aims to balance the desire for a single number describing the concept of deprivation in a place and the recognition that deprivation has many interacting components. IMDs may be an improvement over simpler measures of deprivation such as low average household disposable income because they capture variables such as the advantage of access to a good school and the disadvantage of exposure to high levels of air pollution. A potential disadvantage is that the choice of components and the weighting of those components in the construction of the overall multiple deprivation score is unavoidably subjective.
Components of deprivation
In the current English Indices of Deprivation 2019 (IoD2019) seven domains of deprivation are considered and weighted as follows,
- Income. (22.5%)
- Employment. (22.5%)
- Education. (13.5%)
- Health. (13.5%)
- Crime. (9.3%)
- Barriers to Housing and Services. (9.3%)
- Living Environment. (9.3%)
These domains each have multiple components. For example the Barriers to Housing and Services considers seven components including levels of household overcrowding, homelessness, housing affordability, and the distance by road to four types of key amenity (post office, primary school, supermarket, and GP surgery).
Responsibility for production
Responsibility for the production of publication of IMDs varies by the nation that they cover. Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) publishes IMDs for Northern Ireland. StatsWales publishes IMDs for Wales. The Scottish Government publishes IMDs for Scotland. The UK Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) publishes IMDs for England.
Early version of English IMDs were produced by the Social Disadvantage Research Group at the University of Oxford.
List of UK deprivation indexes
The most recent IMDs for the four nations of the UK are,
- Northern Ireland Multiple Deprivation Measure 2017 (NIMDM2017).
- English Indices of Deprivation 2019.
- Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) 2020.
- Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation (WIMD) 2019.
Previous versions include,
Other deprivation indexes
Other deprivation indexes, or similar indexes that measure properties of society linked to deprivation, are used for different analysis. Examples include,
Deprivation indexes in other countries
Equivalents of IMDs outside of the UK include,
- The FDEP, The French DEPrivation index (Indice de défavorisation social).
- The European Deprivation Index.
- Launoy, G (21 November 2018). "European Deprivation Index: designed to tackle socioeconomic inequalities in cancer in Europe". European Journal of Public Health. 28.