17 Highland datazones in most deprived 15 percent in Scotland. (18/12/12)

The Highlands has 17 datazones ranked in the most deprived 15% in Scotland according to the Scottish Government’s latest release of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD).

SIMD has been designed to identify the most deprived areas across Scotland.  It uses statistical information across a range of topics which are combined to indicate deprivation at household level.

The SIMD measures deprivation at small area level called datazones.  These are areas which have a standard population of between roughly 500 and 1000 people and cover a wide range of geographical areas. There are 6,505 datazones in Scotland and 292 in Highland.

It is common practice to look at the 15% most deprived datazones within Scotland.  Within the 2012 release, Highland has 17 datazones in the most deprived 15% in Scotland, an increase of one from the previous version on the index from 2009 this means that 5.8% of Highland datazones are classed as multiply deprived.  Deprivation continues to be concentrated in areas identified in earlier releases, but one datazone in Dingwall is now classed as deprived.  Datazones falling within the 15% most deprived in Scotland on order of rank are-

Inverness Merkinch North; Inverness South Kessock; Wick Pultneytown South; Inverness Merkinch East; Invergordon Strath Avenue; Wick Hillhead North; Inverness Central and Longman; Inverness Merkinch South; Wick South; Alness Kirkside; Inverness Hilton West; Seaboard South; Inverness Merkinch Telford; Dingwall Central; Wick South Head; Inverness Raigmore North; and Alness Teaninich.

Council Leader Drew Hendry said: “Clearly deprivation is an ongoing concern and we are determined to do what we can, locally, to tackle this.  Although levels of poverty are relatively low in Highland compared to some other areas of Scotland, the SIMD is very useful in helping us to identify multiply deprived communities. We know too t that this is only part of the picture, so our services and the new preventative funding from the Council will also reach children, unemployed people and older people living in our rural communities where deprivation can be more hidden and not shown by SIMD.  We will step up our work with others, such as the police and NHS Highland through the new partnership arrangements to take a co-ordinated approach to this serious  issue.”

It is important to note that the deprivation of each datazone is relative to all others and not absolute.  Also, the SIMD was designed to measure concentrations of deprivation.  It is good at achieving this.  However, it doesn’t identify rural deprivation where deprivation is spatially dispersed with the very rich living alongside those who are very poor.

Highland datazones in most deprived 15% in Scotland (77kb pdf)

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