The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation is a relative measure of deprivation across 6,976 small areas (called data zones). If an area is identified as ‘deprived’, this can relate to people having a low income but it can also mean fewer resources or opportunities. SIMD looks at the extent to which an area is deprived across seven domains: income, employment, education, health, access to services, crime and housing.
SIMD is the Scottish Government’s standard approach to identify areas of multiple deprivation in Scotland. It can help improve understanding about the outcomes and circumstances of people living in the most deprived areas in Scotland. It can also allow effective targeting of policies and funding where the aim is to wholly or partly tackle or take account of area concentrations of multiple deprivation.
SIMD ranks data zones from most deprived (ranked 1) to least deprived (ranked 6,976). People using SIMD will often focus on the data zones below a certain rank, for example, the 5%, 10%, 15% or 20% most deprived data zones in Scotland.
SIMD is an area-based measure of relative deprivation: not every person in a highly deprived area will themselves be experiencing high levels of deprivation.
Please note that the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2020 has been revised as a result of a problem identified with the income domain ranks provided by the Department for Work and Pensions. This revision only affects the income domain ranks and overall SIMD ranks (referred to as SIMD 2020v2). The impact is minimal for the majority of data zones, and the remainder of the SIMD 2020 is not affected. SIMD 2020v2 ranks should now be used when carrying out any analyses.
A summary of the revision is provided at the link below, alongside the revised data.