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Indices of Deprivation

What are the Indices of Deprivation?

The English Indices of Deprivation are the Government's official measure of multiple deprivation, published by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG). The most recent, the Index of Deprivation 2015, published October 2015, updates previous versions published in 2010, 2007, 2004 and 2000.

They attempt to measure a broad concept of 'multiple deprivation' using a basket of indicators across 7 'domains' of deprivation. These domains are:

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

They are then combined, using appropriate weights, to calculate an overall measure of 'multiple deprivation'. The results are published at local authority and Lower Super Output Area (LSOA) level. There are 186 LSOAs in Sandwell, each containing around 1,500 people. Each LSOA is given a score for each domain. This is then used to rank all 32,844 LSOAs in England, with the most deprived being ranked as 1. It is a relative measure, placing areas in a position relative to each other.   


In addition, there are two indices relating specifically to children and older people:

  • Index of Deprivation Affecting Children Indicator (IDACI)
  • Index of Deprivation Affecting Older People (IDAOPI) 

Sandwell's Ranking

Sandwell’s average deprivation score has improved since 2010, falling one place to become the 13th most deprived local authority out of a total of 326 (where 1 is the most deprived). However, this does not necessarily mean that deprivation in the borough has improved – only that it has improved relative to other areas. Sandwell's neighbour Birmingham is also among the 20 most deprived Local Authorities by average score (ranked 7th).


 Indices of Multiple Deprivation 2015 - District Level

The table above shows that Birmingham is now worst in the West Midlands on all indicators, as the most deprived local authority in the conurbation. On most measures Sandwell is the most deprived local authority within the Black Country. The relatively high ranking on extent compared with a lower ranking on local concentration reveals that Sandwell's deprivation is spread across the borough rather than being concentrated in certain hotspots.

IMD 2015 by LSOA

The map shows the distribution of deprivation across the borough. The darkest shades indicate that these are amongst England’s most deprived LSOAs. Large areas of Smethwick, Tipton, Wednesbury and West Bromwich are heavily deprived.

The less deprived Sandwell areas are represented by lighter shades and can be seen in the north east of West Bromwich, and the peripheries of Smethwick, Oldbury and Rowley Regis.


Tipton has by far the highest proportion of its LSOAs in the most deprived decile for the IMD 2015, compared with less than 7% in Oldbury. When you consider the proportion of LSOAs in the 30% most deprived nationally, Wednesbury has by far the highest proportion at 92%, compared with 57% of LSOAs in Oldbury. This was also the case in 2010.

IMD in Sandwell by National Decile

One in five of Sandwell’s LSOAs fall into the most deprived 10% nationally in 2015. This shows a relative improvement, as around 30% of LSOAs were among the 10% most deprived in both 2007 and 2010. A further third fall into the most deprived 10-20%, so overall 55% of Sandwell’s LSOAs fall within the worst 20% nationally, and 86% within the worst 50% nationally, clearly displaying the high levels of deprivation prevalent in large parts of Sandwell.

Useful Links

Click here for analysis for the West Midlands conurbation area.

Click here for Sandwell ward analysis.


Click here to see the national analysis.

Click here to download the national datasets.

Research Sandwell - Local Intelligence and Consultation