Research and data

Multiple Deprivation in the Scottish Borders

Measuring multiple deprivation

The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) is Scottish Government's standard approach to identifying areas of multiple deprivation. It does this by comparing every neighbourhood in Scotland against each other, in terms of how relatively more or less deprived they are than each other. There are 6,976 of these neighbourhoods, called Data Zones, in Scotland, 143 of them are in the Scottish Borders. The most recent update to the SIMD was released in 2020

Having a tool like the SIMD means that we can objectively measure relative inequality in Scottish Borders, and how it fits into the Scottish picture. We can:

  • measure how more or less deprived every neighbourhood in the Scottish Borders is compared with every other neighbourhood in Scotland
  • say how relatively deprived all the communities in the Scottish Borders are compared with each other
  • isolate the 10% or 15% most-deprived neighbourhoods in Scotland and identify how many of them are in the Scottish Borders 
  • officially say that Scottish Borders Data Zones which fall into the 15% most-deprived are deprived by Scottish standards, not just by Scottish Borders standards. This is important as the scattered population, and the quality of life in the region, often means that deprivation is hidden away, and doesn't 'show up' using traditional measures

SIMD Resources

Press releases and reports about the 2020 and 2016 SIMD releases in the Scottish Borders were produced by our Research and Information Team.

Scottish Government's official SIMD website has a handy free interactive map which is the easiest way to find your area of interest and its Multiple Deprivation status.

Ward Profiles that compare population and deprivation information at Electoral Ward level were produced to assist incoming Elected Members.

The deprivation domains, ranks, quintiles, deciles and vigintiles for every Data Zone in the Scottish Borders and Scotland, plus some of the indicators that were used to measure Multiple Deprivation, can be viewed and downloaded from the Scottish Statistics Open Data platform. If you need any help downloading data from the platform, contact the Research and Information team.

SIMD and Reducing Inequalities in Scottish Borders

Multiple deprivation is a complex topic so a multi-agency, multi-faceted approach is needed to reduce the inequalities and the pockets of poverty that lead to Multiple Deprivation.  

As the SIMD is a relative measure, we need to do at least as much, if not more, to reduce inequalities as public bodies in other Local Authority areas are doing, and we need to do it over a sustained period of time.

Multiple Deprivation also features in statutory obligations we have, with regard to reducing Child Poverty.

Find out more about the latest research and data on what we are doing to reduce inequalities in Scottish Borders.