Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2016: introductory booklet

An update to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD).


This booklet introduces the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation ( SIMD) 2016. SIMD is a tool for identifying areas of poverty and inequality across Scotland. It can help organisations invest in those areas that need it most.

This booklet explains how we built SIMD, it offers advice on what you can and can't do with SIMD, and it gives some headline findings. For example, it shows the places where SIMD has found long-lasting deprivation, or the council areas which have a greater share of deprived areas than in previous years.

The booklet also includes stories from people who live and/or work in some of the deprived neighbourhoods SIMD describes.

People who use SIMD tell us that being seen to live in a deprived area can be negative in itself. So, to help give a more balanced view, we asked people in deprived areas to tell us more about living and working there, the good and the bad. In every deprived community in Scotland we have visited, we found committed organisations and individuals working hard to make the place they call home better. We've included three sets of these local stories here.

Finally, we provide links for you to explore SIMD further, produce your own maps, and get more help if you need it.

We would like to thank all the organisations who helped us recognise the positive aspects in each of their communities. In particular, we thank the organisations and individuals who took the time to tell us their stories, giving us a fuller picture of places that inevitably have more than one side to them.

We also acknowledge the support and help received from councils, NHS teams and other organisations who have contributed to helping make the index itself.

SIMD is the official tool for finding the most deprived areas in Scotland

  • SIMD16 was published on 31 August 2016.
  • Previous SIMDs were published in 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2012.


… shows where Scotland's most deprived areas are, so organisations know where their work can have the biggest impact.

… is a relative measure of deprivation across small areas in Scotland.

… looks at multiple deprivation. 'Deprived' does not just mean 'poor' or 'low income'. It can also mean people have fewer resources and opportunities, for example in health and education.

SIMD is the official tool for finding the most deprived areas in Scotland


Email: Alastair McAlpine,

Back to top