A new Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) 2015 is launched for the first time in 5 years.
The IMD is one of the most important datasets in the UK because:
- Government departments and agencies have used it to allocate billions of pounds of spending.
- Lottery funders, charities and local government all use it to help allocate and evaluate funds.
- Health researchers in particular have found it very useful to look at determinants of health and to link socio-economic data with health outcomes.
So what are the key features of the Index?
- The data is available at a very small spatial scale (the technical term is super output area, usually a population between 1,000 to 1,500 people).
- The entire country is covered (not a sample).
- The index includes a relative ranking (as well as some absolute figures) so we can tell how much better off one area is compared to another. For example we can find the bottom 10% of areas in the country.
Key results show that deprivation moves very slowly. Stoke on Trent as a whole is ranked 13 most deprived local authority out of 326. More detailed analysis show that 30% of the neighbourhoods rank in the 10% most deprived in the country. Furthermore despite billions of pounds going into city regeneration there are still large concentrations of deprivation in Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool.
Most of the work on the new IMD has been done by Oxford Consultants for Social Inclusion (OCSI) but yours truly as in previous editions was responsible for creating the air quality domain in the IMD.
The IMD in England, Scotland and Wales formed the basis for a lot of the environmental justice work that was done at Staffordshire University over the last decade. This initial work for various UK government agencies lead us on to work in Europe and collaboration with the World Health Organisation. See my staff page for links and more.
In addition, the UK Statistics Authority have now confirmed the Indices have National Statistics status.
If you want to keep updated on any future announcements from DCLG on the Indices, please email Indices.Deprivation@communities.gsi.gov.uk.
General coverage of the IMD on twitter https://twitter.com/indices2015