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