Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2020: Argyll and Bute

1.  Introduction

The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) 2020 was published on 28 January 2020. 

This page looks at:

  • What the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) 2020 does
  • What the SIMD tells us about different types of deprivation, and multiple deprivation, within Argyll and Bute

2.  The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation

SIMD is the official tool for finding the most deprived areas in Scotland. SIMD identifies small area concentrations of multiple deprivation across all of Scotland in a consistent way. It allows effective targeting of policies and funding where the aim is to wholly or partly tackle area concentrations of multiple deprivation. The SIMD is produced at data zone level, with data zones being ranked from 1 (most deprived) to 6,976 (least deprived)

SIMDs calculate deprivation across seven 'domains':

  • Income
  • Employment
  • Health
  • Education, Skills and Traning
  • Geographic Access to Services
  • Housing
  • Crime

Levels of deprivation in each domain are calculated using a selection of indicators.  Relative levels of overall (or multiple) deprivation are then calculated on the basis of weighting and combining the individual deprivation domains.  The highest weightings are given to the Income and Employment Domains (28% each).  The Access (to services) domain, which affects more of our data zones than any of the other domains, has a relatively low weighting in the Overall index (9%).

Levels of deprivation in each domain are calculated using a selection of indicators.  Relative levels of overall (or multiple) deprivation are then calculated on the basis of weighting and combining the individual deprivation domains.  The highest weightings are given to the Income and Employment Domains (28% each).  The Access (to services) domain, which affects more of our data zones than any of the other domains, has a relatively low weighting in the Overall index (9%).

The indicators making up the SIMD 2020 have remained broadly unchanged since 2016, the main changes are:

  • The education domain now includes the Skills Development Scotland participation measure instead of the proportion of 16-19 year olds not in education, employment or training indicator based on DWP data.
  • The access to services domain now includes a digital connectivity indicator.
  • The income and employment domains have been updated to reflect on-going changes to the welfare system and remain broad comparable with earlier indices.

2.1  Multiple deprivation in Argyll and Bute

The SIMD is used to identify pockets of overall deprivation within Argyll and Bute.

Based on the SIMD 2020, 13 out of the Council area’s 125 data zones were identified as being amongst the 20% most overall deprived data zones in Scotland.

These 13 datazones all located in the towns of Helensburgh, Dunoon, Rothesay, Campbeltown and Oban. None of Argyll and Bute's rural data zones fall into the 20% most overall deprived datazones in Scotland. 

All of these data zones are located in the area’s towns, however, deprivation can, and does, occur elsewhere.  Because the SIMD identifies concentrations of deprivation, smaller pockets and instances of individual deprivation are not picked up by the index.

Patterns of deprivation vary by domain. 

2.2  Income deprivation

 

The Income domain is constructed by counting the number of people claiming relevant benefits, and dividing it by the total population from the 2017 NRS Small Area Population Estimate (SAPE).

16 data zones in Argyll and Bute fall into the 20% most income deprived data zones in Scotland.  Because of the relatively high weighting (28%) that is given to the income domain within the overall index, that all 13 also fall into the 20% most overall deprived in Scotland is not surprising.

2.3  Employment deprivation

 

The Employment domain is constructed by counting the number of people claiming relevant benefits, and dividing by the working age population take from the 2017 SAPE. 

Being out of work is a key factor of deprivation.  Therefore, the employment domain has a large weighting in the overall SIMD (28%).

There are 22 datazones in Argyll and Bute data zones that fall within the 20% most employment deprived in Scotland, all are included within the 10 the most overall deprived data zones.

 Argyll and Bute has 11 of Scotland’s 20% most health deprived data zones.

The Health domain identifies areas that, given the age-sex profile of the population, have a higher than expected level of ill health or mortality. 

2.5  Education, Skills and Training

This domain measures both outcomes and causes of education deprivation.  Qualifications are examined in relation to age groups.  Indicators relating to absenteeism and lack of progression to further and higher education are also included in this domain.

SIMD 2020 identified 8 data zones in the 15% most educated deprived in Scotland.

Much of Argyll and Bute lacks easy access to further or higher education facilities, and many of the 16-24 year age group go to urban areas to further their studies.

2.6  Geographic Access to Services

The Geographic Access to Services domain considers access deprivation in terms of drive times and public transport times to a selection of basic services:

  • Primary schools
  • Secondary schools
  • GP surgery
  • Retail centres
  • Petrol stations.

52 (42%) of Argyll and Bute’s data zones are within the 20% most access deprived data zones in Scotland.  As map 6 shows, most of these data zones are located outside the main towns.  

2.7  Housing

Argyll and Bute has 13 data zones within the 20% most housing deprived data zones in Scotland. 

The Housing domain identifies areas of housing deprivation on the basis of two indicators, both taken from the 2011 Census:

  • Persons in households that are overcrowded
  • Persons in households without central heating.

Although there is a chance of overlap between indicators, this has been accepted as it was thought people living in a household with both these attributes are more deprived than those with only one.

2.8  Crime

The Crime domain is based on five indicators of broad crime types:

  • Crimes of violence
  • Sexual offences
  • Crimes of dishonesty
  • Vandalism
  • Drugs offences

These indicators were chosen on the grounds that they were most relevant to neighbourhoods and on availability of data. 

The domain is calculated by summing the above types of crime that are recorded within an area.  These crimes are collectively referred to as ‘SIMD crime’.

SIMD crime does not include all recorded crimes.  Certain crimes have been excluded because of the data quality issues, or because they are less meaningful in terms of deprivation at a neighbourhood level. Some crime types are not included in the SIMD on grounds that they are targeted at businesses or are concentrated in centres of retail activity rather than in residential neighbourhoods. Fraud and speeding offences are excluded because they are harder to locate geographically. 

Argyll and Bute has 13 data zones in the 20% most deprived areas in relation to SIMD crime. 

3  Summary

  • The SIMD ranks all data zones in Scotland according to levels of deprivation relative to one another.  In addition, the SIMD provides information about deprivation across a range of domains
  • Ten of Argyll and Bute’s 125 data zones fall within the 15% most deprived data zones in Scotland.  These 10 data zones are all located in towns
  • Patterns of deprivation vary by domain.  A particular contrast can be seen between levels of access deprivation, which affects most of rural Argyll and Bute and levels of deprivation across other SIMD domains, wherein the towns are seen to exhibit higher levels of deprivation
  • Because the SIMD identifies areal concentrations of deprivation, smaller pockets and instances of individual deprivation are not highlighted by the index.  Thus, although Argyll and Bute has few areas with high levels of multiple deprivation, other instances of deprivation will occur outside these areas, especially in rural areas where populations are more heterogeneous.

 Data verified: March 2020