The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation is a relative measure of deprivation across 6,976 small areas (called data zones). If an area is identified as ‘deprived’, this can relate to people having a low income but it can also mean fewer resources or opportunities. SIMD looks at the extent to which an area is deprived across seven domains: income, employment, education, health, access to services, crime and housing.
SIMD is the Scottish Government's standard approach to identify areas of multiple deprivation in Scotland. It can help improve understanding about the outcomes and circumstances of people living in the most deprived areas in Scotland. It can also allow effective targeting of policies and funding where the aim is to wholly or partly tackle or take account of area concentrations of multiple deprivation.
SIMD ranks data zones from most deprived (ranked 1) to least deprived (ranked 6,976). People using SIMD will often focus on the data zones below a certain rank, for example, the 5%, 10%, 15% or 20% most deprived data zones in Scotland.
SIMD is an area-based measure of relative deprivation: not every person in a highly deprived area will themselves be experiencing high levels of deprivation.
Data zones in rural areas tend to cover a large land area and reflect a more mixed picture of people experiencing different levels of deprivation. This means that SIMD is less helpful at identifying the smaller pockets of deprivation found in more rural areas, compared to the larger pockets found in urban areas. SIMD domain indicators can still be useful in rural areas if analysed separately from urban data zones or combined with other data.
- Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2020: introduction
- Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2020: A place in time (comic)
There has been a delay in finalising the technical notes, and these will be available shortly. Users should note that the indicators making up SIMD 2020 have remained broadly unchanged since SIMD 2016. The main changes are as follows
- the education domain now includes the Skills Development Scotland participation measure instead of the proportion of 16-19 year olds not in education, employment or training indicator based on DWP data.
- the access to services domain now includes a digital connectivity indicator
- the income and employment domains have been updated to reflect on-going changes to the welfare system and remain broadly comparable with earlier indices.
Data to download
The 2011 data zone boundaries will be available once they have been updated for SIMD 2020.
- Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2020: ranks and domain ranks
- Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2020: indicators
The postcode look-up file is currently in the process of being finalised. Users wanting to incorporate the SIMD look-up into existing systems may wish to wait until the final version is ready.
- Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2020: postcodes
- Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2020: data zones
Interactive mapping at simd.scot
New guidance is not yet available, but the SIMD 2012 guidance is still valid: SIMD 2012 Guidance.
Information for previous versions of SIMD can be found at: https:www2.gov.scot/SIMD.
If you have any enquiries or would like to provide us with any feedback relating to the Scotttish Index of Multiple Deprivation then please contact us at:
Telephone: 0131 244 7714
Communities Analysis Division
We want the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation to be as useful as possible for everyone using it and so welcome your comments on all aspects of SIMD and the SIMD website.
You may also contact the Statisticians Group Enquiries for general information.