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Index of Multiple Deprivation 2010

A series of local reports revealing the level of deprivation faced by people living in villages, towns and cities across the South West are now available on the South West Observatory website.

Analysis and maps drawn from 2010 ‘Indices of Multiple Deprivation’ data, released by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in March this year, highlight pockets of high poverty within South West cities as well as some of its more rural areas.

You can download 2010 Profiles for your area, including a South West IMD 2010 overview, by clicking on the links in the right hand column. IMD 2007 Profiles can still be downloaded via the links below.

Key Facts from IMD 2010
  • The majority of deprived areas in England (98%) are located in cities.

  • The South West follows a similar pattern, with the greatest number of deprived areas existing in the Bristol local authority area.

  • Torbay, Bristol and Plymouth have the greatest proportions of their populations living in deprivation. Around 1 in 10 people living in these areas live in some of the 10% most deprived areas nationally.

  • Seven small areas in the South West are among the most deprived 1% of all areas in England. The two most deprived of these are in Boscombe West ward in Bournemouth, and within Weston-super-Mare ward in North Somerset. A further 13 areas are within the 2% most deprived nationally.

  • The most widespread type of deprivation in the South West relates to barriers to housing and services. This applies in particular to small rural areas in Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset and includes access to home ownership, which reflects the ratio of house prices to average income; and road distance to local amenities which reflects reality in rural areas, but does not take into account access to private or public transport. Deprivation in Bristol and other urban areas tends to relate more to education, the living environment (such as condition of housing) and crime. 


In due course additional IMD Profiles for ‘Local Investment Plan’ areas (compiled by the HCA) will also be made available. For more information on South West LIPs see http://planning.swo.org.uk/housing/ .  

Please email the SWO Core Unit - - should you have questions or comments about the 2010 IMD Profiles.
  • IMD2010
  • IMD2007
  • What is IMD?
  • What about Methodology?
  • Useful Tables / Useful Links
What is IMD?

Indices of deprivation identify areas of multiple deprivation at the small area level. Based on a methodology developed by the Social Disadvantage Research Centre at the University of Oxford, separate indices have been constructed for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Though not directly comparable, each index is based on the concept that distinct dimensions of deprivation such as income, employment, education and health can be identified and measured separately. These dimensions, sometimes referred to as 'domains' are then aggregated to provide an overall measure of multiple deprivation and each individual area is allocated a deprivation rank and score.

IMD Methodology

The purpose of this section is to provide a broad overview of the methodology used to construct the four separate Indices of Deprivation. Those wishing to access more detailed information should follow the links to the Indices' technical reports shown in the 'Useful links' section.

The methodologies used to derive the separate indices of multiple deprivation are broadly similar. In each case, the index measures the level of multiple deprivation experienced by individuals in small areas. Firstly, levels of deprivation are measured for a number of separate dimensions or 'domains'. The number and title of domains varies between each index but each measures deprivation across key themes of income, employment, education and health.

For each domain, deprivation is calculated according to a series of summary statistics or 'indicators'. These indicators are designed to measure key features of a particular deprivation theme. The choice of indicators is agreed through consultation and varies between each index. Typically there are between two and six indicators per domain.

For each index, the indicators are combined in broadly the same way to provide a domain level measure of deprivation. Where possible and most notably in the income and employment domains, indicators are summed and divided by the 'at risk population' (for example, the number of income support claimants as a proportion of the total population) to give an overall area rate of deprivation. Where rates are not possible, appropriate weights for combining indicators into a single deprivation score are selected using a range of techniques including Maximum Likelihood factor analysis.

The domain level scores which represent specific dimensions of deprivation are then ranked and transformed to an exponential distribution. Weights are then applied to provide the overall Index of Multiple Deprivation for each country in the UK. The weights are selected according to a number of criteria which are used to assess the level of importance attached to each domain theme in the overall measurement of deprivation. As each index uses different indicators and domains, the weights applied to aggregate domain scores are different.
Useful Tables

Comparing across Countries Indices of Deprivation - Guidance Paper

Indicator comparison table - a downloadable table showing a complete listing of indicators for each index and how they compare.

Key components and differences - a downloadable table highlighting key components of the four indices of deprivation and how they compare.

Useful links

English Indices of Deprivation

Northern Ireland Multiple Deprivation Measure

Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation

Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation

Neighbourhood Statistics Geography Page

Guides to Super Output Areas and Data Zones