Areas of Deprivation in Scotland’s Councils

Distribution of Deprivation by Council Area: overall SIMD 2020 Rank

The Scottish Government publishes data following completion of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation survey every four years which provides a set of relative measures of deprivation.  The most recent survey, SIMD 2020, was released in Jan 2020.  For the analysis Scotland is split up into 6976 individual zones each with a population of approximately 700 to 800  and each is  ranked based on its deprivation relative to all other zones.

The chart shows the percentage distribution of deprivation across Scotland’s local councils based on the numbers of its zones in allocated to decile bands of deprivation rank.  In the chart the deep purple band represents the most deprived decile (i.e. one of the 697 zones categorised as the 10% most deprived in Scotland) and the dark green band representing least disadvantaged.  Thus councils with with a higher percentage of deprived zones compared to others (according to the SIMD 2020 analysis) will have larger purple bands extending across the graph.  The chart is also sorted with the most deprived councils positioned at the top (based on percentage zones in the three most deprived deciles).


This analysis shows  differences in the percentage of zones of deprivation in councils relative to one another.  Typically these are counties associated with a large decline in engineering and manufacturing jobs over the past 50 years.  The councils most affected are:

Glasgow City::  44% of its zones in deciles 1-2, and 55% in deciles 1-3;
West Dumbartonshire::  39% and 54%;
InverClyde::  44% and 53%;
North Ayrshire::  40% and 51%;
Dundee City::  38% and 49%.

In contrast the council areas with the lowest percentage of their zones in the most deprived tend to be large rural and or the smaller island councils.

Scottish Borders::  6% of its zones in deciles 1-2, and 11% in deciles 1-3;
East Renfrewshire::  7% and 8%;
Orkney Islands::  0% and 7%;
Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Hebridean Isles):: 0% and 5% ;
Aberdeenshire::  3% and 5%;
Shetland Islands::  0% and 3%.

Note, however, the actual numbers of zones and population affected will vary between councils because there are large differences in their sizes.  For example Glasgow City has 746 zones whereas West Dunbartonshire has 121.  The impact on populations will be analysed separately.

The overall simd 2020 deprivation rank for each of Scotland’s datazones was grouped into deciles across the whole of Scotland – decile 1 (d1) being the most deprived and d10 the least deprived.  For each council area the number of its zones in each band was counted and the percentage of zones in each band within that council calculated.  The above chart and the table below shows the percentage distribution of zones in each decile band for each council area.  The chart and table are sorted (based on the total council percentage in deciles 1 – 3).  Note that small differences in the decimal points may occur between the chart popup information and the table because of rounding differences during the chart production.

Table of Results
The table shows the distribution (as percentages) of each council’s datazones into overall SIMD 2020 rank deciles where decile 1 is the most deprived.  Councils with more of its zones distributed into ranks 1 -3 have a greater percentage of its population living in deprived areas.


the tables shows the percentage of zones for each council aread allocated to deciles 1 to 3



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