The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation ( SIMD) 2006 identifies small area concentrations of multiple deprivation across all of Scotland in a consistent way. It is an update and improvement on the SIMD 2004, allowing more effective targeting of policies and funding at deprived areas. SIMD 2006 has National Statistics status.
- The SIMD 2006 is an update to the SIMD 2004 and provides a relative ranking of small areas across Scotland allowing the most deprived areas to be identified.
- The small area geography of data zones was also used in the SIMD 2004. Analysis of relative change in areas of multiple deprivation over time and absolute change in the employment domain are thus possible for the first time.
- There are 6,505 data zones across Scotland. The data zone ranked one by the SIMD 2006 is the most deprived and the data zone ranked 6,505 is the least deprived.
- The SIMD 2006 contains 37 different indicators in seven domains (topics) which cover specific aspects of deprivation: Current Income, Employment, Health, Education, Housing, Access to Services (including new Public Transport travel times) and a new Crime domain. These are combined to create the overall SIMD 2006.
- The SIMD 2006 is applicable to the whole of Scotland and makes use of the most up to date and accurate information available.
- The majority of the SIMD 2006 data represents information from 2004/2005.
- The index is based on the widely accepted methodology developed by Oxford University, which was used in the SIMD 2004. SIMD 2006 has some improvements following recommendations from Glasgow University's 2005 evaluation of the SIMD 2004 methodology.
- The SIMD 2006 further implements some recommendations from the Scottish Centre for Research on Social Justice's report 'Measuring Deprivation in Scotland: Developing a Long-Term Strategy'.
Analysing change between SIMD 2004 and SIMD 2006
- Due to changed data sources and improvements to indicators and methodology, the overall SIMD and most domains are not directly comparable in absolute terms with those in the SIMD 2004. Details on comparing individual indicators are given in the SIMD technical report.
- Some indicators which are used to make up the domains are available as absolute measures through the Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics website and the SIMD background data, such as the changing pattern of health deprivation.
- The only domain that is directly comparable between SIMD 2004 and SIMD 2006 is the employment domain and, as such, this domain is used for analysis of absolute change. Comparisons between SIMD 2004 and SIMD 2006 (apart from the employment domain) should only relate to the relative movement of data zone ranks, for example in to and out of the 15% most deprived areas in Scotland, in terms of the overall SIMD, or in terms of the other individual domains.
- Each of the SIMD domains uses the most appropriate and up to date information that was available at the time of compilation. The SIMD 2004 represented information from 2001/2002 for most domains and used 2001 census based population estimates, whereas the majority of the SIMD 2006 data is from 2004/2005 and uses 2004 small area population estimates provided by the General Register Office for Scotland, this should be taken into account when examining changes over time.
- Each data zone's geographic size and boundaries have remained constant between SIMD 2004 and 2006, however, the population or population gender or age distribution of a data zone may have changed.
- The SIMD measures relative change, hence for every data zone which moves out of the 15% most deprived in Scotland another data zone will replace it in the 15% most deprived and there will always be 976 data zones in the 15% most deprived by definition.
Dissemination of the SIMD
- Maps which show the spread of relative deprivation in Scotland across each local authority area for both the SIMD 2004 and SIMD 2006 are available from an interactive mapping website. The maps can be used to identify Scotland's most deprived areas and their location within each local authority area and to see how each authority's share of the most deprived areas in Scotland has changed between the two indices.
- The data behind the indicators have been published where possible, subject to confidentiality constraints, along with a statistical compendium containing tables, charts and other maps analysing the SIMD 2006 and change since SIMD 2004.
- A general report with summary analysis is published on the website and in hard copy.
- Comprehensive information on the domains, indicators and methodology can be found in the technical report.
- Users can carry out more detailed analysis of the SIMD 2006 through comparison of the results with hundreds of socio-economic indicators on the Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics website.
The 15% most deprived areas in the SIMD 2004 and SIMD 2006, Glasgow City and surrounding area
Appropriate and inappropriate use of the SIMD
- As the SIMD is a relative measure of deprivation, the ranks can be used to compare data zones, the smaller the rank the more deprived the data zone.
- The SIMD can not be used to determine 'how much' more deprived one data zone is than another, e.g. it is not possible to say that data zone X, ranked 50, is twice as deprived as data zone Y, ranked 100. However it is possible to say that X is more deprived than Y.
- The SIMD ranks can be used to identify Scotland's most deprived small areas on the overall index and each individual domain, commonly by applying a cut off such as 10%, 15% or 20%. The cut off should be informed by the focus of the policy i.e. whether it aims to target areas with the very highest concentrations of deprivation or to be wider ranging. Users should consider applying sensitivity analysis to determine the effects of a slight change in cut off.
- The overall SIMD scores and ranks can not be used as absolute measures of deprivation within a data zone or to identify absolute change over time.
- Only the current income, employment and SIMD crime domains are absolute values and can be used to identify the proportion of the population who are affected by these types of deprivation. Other domains are not straightforward summations of counts but are weighted scores so are relative not absolute values.
- The population size of each area should be taken into account before making direct comparisons between areas or over time.
- The SIMD has been produced at data zone level and therefore can not be used to compare levels of deprivation within local authority areas. The local authority area share of deprived data zones should not be used as a measure of a local authority area share of overall deprivation.
- The SIMD can determine the national spread of deprived areas by showing the proportion of the most deprived data zones in each local authority area (as in the pie chart) or as a measure of concentration of deprivation in a local authority area by showing the proportion of an authority's areas which are in the most deprived data zones in Scotland.
Share of the 15% most deprived data zones in Scotland, by local authority area
Websites and contact details
1. The SIMD website, which includes information and links relating to both the 2004 and 2006 indices can be found at: www.scotland.gov.uk/simd
2. The SIMD interactive mapping website can be found at www.scotland.gov.uk/SIMDMapping
3. The full technical report for the SIMD 2006 can be found at www.scotland.gov.uk/SIMD2006Technical
4. The Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics website can be found at www.sns.gov.uk
5. More information about Scottish Executive statistics can be found at www.scotland.gov.uk/stats
6. General questions on the SIMD can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
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