What are the Indices of Deprivation?

The Indices of Deprivation (IoD) measure relative levels of deprivation in all small areas of England called (Lower-layer Super Output Areas). The Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) is the official measure of relative deprivation in England and is part of a suite of outputs that form the (IoD).

The IoD is based on 39 separate indicators, organised across seven sub domains of deprivation which are then combined and weighted to calculate the Index of Multiple Deprivation in 2019.

There are seven categories (domains):

  • Income
  • Employment
  • Education, Skills and Training
  • Health Deprivation and Disability
  • Crime
  • Barriers to Housing and Services
  • Living Environment

These are combined to create an overall score of deprivation. Two separate categories are also produced for children and older people.

The data used is based on the most up to date information available. The most common way of reporting the data is to identify whether a small area (LSOA) falls within the top 10% most deprived nationally.

When looking at change between the 2015 and 2019 IMD, caution must be used due to changes in methodology and indicators used. All neighbourhoods in England are ranked according to their level of deprivation relative to that of other areas. High ranking LSOAs or neighbourhoods can be referred to as the ‘most deprived’ or as being ‘highly deprived’ to aid interpretation. However, there is no definitive threshold above which an area is described as ‘deprived’.

The IoD measure deprivation on a relative rather than an absolute scale, so a neighbourhood ranked 100th is more deprived then a neighbourhood ranked 200th, but this does not mean it is twice as deprived.