Deprivation: key data sources

A number of different measures of deprivation are in current use. This section provides an overview of sources of information on deprivation in general as well as showing where to access data for particular deprivation measures.

Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD)

The most recent measure of deprivation is the Scottish Government's Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD). The latest version (SIMD 2016) was published in August 2016.  An interactive mapping tool is available here and open access data can be found here.

Data are also available for the SIMD 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2012.  ISD Scotland have also published detailed look-up files for SIMD 2004, 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2016.

Arbuthnott Formula - 'Fair Shares for All'

The Arbuthnott formula was developed during 1999-2000 as part of a larger piece of work to update the calculations of health service resource allocation in Scotland. This formula uses a composite of four variables, one of which takes account of information from six other deprivation indicators. Three variables are drawn from 'updateable' sources (death rates, income support claimants and unemployment benefit recipients). The remaining variable is drawn from the 1991 Census. Unlike the Carstairs Score, lack of car ownership is not included. Section 4 of the report provides more details.

Carstairs and Morris Index

The Carstairs and Morris Index index was originally developed in the 1980s using 1981 Census data and is updated using the most recent Census data. The index is derived from four Census indicators: low social class, lack of car ownership, overcrowding and male unemployment.  Carstairs Scores for Scottish Postcode Sectors, Datazones & Output Areas from the 2011 Census have now been published on Glasgow University's MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit (see link above). Note that the previous scores from 1981-2001 (at postcode level) can also be accessed there as well.

Deprivation Profiles

Deprivation profiles, which provide data on health outcomes and determinants for each SIMD 2012 quintile (1=most deprived, 5=least least), for all health boards and local authorities within Scotland, are available in the profiles pages.

Deprivation and health in Scotland (376 Kb)

This 1998 report by ISD Scotland used routinely collected health service and mortality information to provide a brief overview of the relationship between material deprivation and ill health in Scotland at that time. Topic covered included mental health, heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Dimensions of diversity: Population differences and health improvement opportunities

Published in 2010, this report provides a concise overview of basic information about 13 characteristics or groups of the population of Scotland, linking users to sources of further information.Thedistribution of each group is described in terms of their deprivation status.

Family Resources Survey analyses of poverty

Detailed data on relative poverty in Scotland (by age, gender, ethnicity, urban-rural and SIMD classification) and inequality (using the Gini Coefficient), based on the Family Resources Survey is published by the Scottish Government.

Local estimates of relative household poverty

The Scottish Government have published estimates, based on national survey data, of the proportion of households in relative poverty at local authority level across Scotland.

Local estimates of child poverty

HM Revenue and Customs no longer publish local authority-level estimates of children living in income poverty.  The last estimates of child income poverty published by HMRC relate to 2011.  Earlier estimates have been archived here

End Child Poverty has used the same methodology and more recent data to estimate child poverty across the UK (including Scottish local authorities and parliamentary constituencies).  The latest estimates published relate to 2013.

ISD Scotland - Deprivation

The main ISD Scotland site has a section on deprivation with useful pages with recommendations for analysing health data, ways to categorise deprivation variables and choices of geographical unit for small area analysis.

Poverty, wealth and place in Britain, 1968 to 2005

The Social and Spatial Inequalities Research Group at Sheffield University have published estimates of breadline (relative) and core (material) poverty in Britain, covering the period 1970-2000. Data is available down to Scottish postcode sector level.

Scottish Indices of Deprivation 2003

The precursor to the SIMD were the Scottish Indices of Deprivation 2003, produced by Oxford University on behalf of the Scottish Executive. Similar to SIMD 2004, but using slightly different domains and indicators, this deprivation measure was calculated at electoral ward level. An overall index, domain-specific indices, report and maps are all available from the relevant page of the Scottish Executive web site (see link above).