Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2016: Argyll and Bute

1.  Introduction

The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) 2016 was published on 31 August 2016.  This is the first SIMD to use the updated 2011 Data Zone geography, which was created from 2011 Census data to account for population changes and developments across Scotland. There are now 6,976 datazones (DXs), each containing on average 760 people. 

This page looks at:

  • What the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) 2016 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%).

For 2016, changes have been kept to a minimum to ensure consistency with the previous SIMD 2012 publication. The indicators included in each domain have been updated to include the latest data available at the time of release. There has, however, been the need to make some minor changes to reflect the introduction of Universal Credit, changes to the school examination system, and improvements in data quality

2.1  Multiple deprivation in Argyll and Bute

Map 1

Map 1 SIMD Multiple Deprivation Argyll and Bute

The SIMD has been used to identify pockets of overall deprivation within Argyll and Bute (see map 1). 

Based on the SIMD 2016, 10 out of the Council area’s 125 data zones were identified as being amongst the 15% most overall deprived data zones in Scotland.

These ten 10 all located in the towns of Helensburgh, Dunoon, Rothesay, Campbeltown and Oban. None of Argyll and Bute's rural data zones fall into the 15% 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

Map 2

SIMD Income Deprivation Argyll and Bute

The Income domain is constructed by counting the number of people claiming relevant benefits, and dividing it by the total population from the 2014 Small Area Population Estimate (SAPE).

10 data zones in Argyll and Bute fall into the 15% 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 ten also fall into the 15% most overall deprived in Scotland is not surprising.

Argyll and Bute has a lower proportion of people identified as being income deprived by the SIMD than is the case across Scotland (10% compared to 12% nationally).

2.3  Employment deprivation

Map 3

Employment Deprivation SIMD Argyll and Bute

The Employment domain is constructed by counting the number of people claiming relevant benefits, and dividing by the working age population take from the 2014 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 10 datazones in Argyll and Bute data zones that fall within the 15% most employment deprived in Scotland, all are included within the 10 the most overall deprived data zones.

Argyll and Bute has a lower proportion of people identified as being employment deprived by the SIMD than is the case across Scotland (10% compared to 11% nationally).

2.4  Health deprivation

Map 4

SIMD Health Deprivation Argyll and Bute

 Argyll and Bute has 7 of Scotland’s 15% 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

Map 5

SIMD Education Deprivation Argyll and Bute

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 2016 identified 2 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

Map 6

SIMD Geographic Access Deprivation Argyll and Bute

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.

48 (38%)of Argyll and Bute’s data zones are within the 15% 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

Map 7

SIMD 2016 Crime Argyll and Bute

Argyll and Bute has 7 data zones within the 15% 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

Map 8

SIMD Crime Deprivation Argyll and Bute

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 16 data zones in the 15% most deprived areas in relation to SIMD crime.  Most of these data zones are located along waterfronts (see map 8).

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: May 2018