diamond geezer

 Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Let me explain what this map is about.

The Index of Multiple Deprivation is a government statistic calculated by the Office of National Statistics every few years.

The whole of England is divided up into 32844 areas, each containing about 1500 residents. Each area is given a deprivation score based on factors including income, employment, health, education and crime. All 32844 areas are then ranked. Jaywick in Essex comes out top because it's the most deprived area in the country, and part of Great Missenden in Bucks comes bottom. That ordered list is then divided into 10 equal groups (or deciles), each containing about 3280 areas. 1 is the most deprived decile and 10 is the least. Not everyone who lives in decile 1 is poor, and not everyone who lives in decile 10 is rich, but that's how their area averages out.

Here's a map of North Westminster with areas coloured according to decile. The dark red areas like Westbourne Green are the most deprived, and the dark green areas like Maida Vale are the least deprived. Few corners of London are quite so mixed as this.

The full map is hosted by the Consumer Data Research Centre (using underlying data from DataShine and OpenStreetMap), and allows you to zoom in and check the decile for any area of England. It's probably worth checking which decile you live in before we proceed. I live in a 4, but grew up in a 9.

Across England there are an equal number of 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, 6s, 7s, 8s, 9s and 10s, because that's how deciles work.


But across London the spread is somewhat different.


Deciles 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 occur in proportions very close to the national average. But London has more 2s, 3s and 4s than expected (that's the not-particularly well off). It also has fewer 10s and a lot fewer 1s (because the extremes aren't over-abundant).

Overall London averages out as a 5. But the mode (the decile that comes up the most) is only 3. London, on average, is more deprived than the rest of the country.

Where this gets especially interesting is if you break the numbers down borough by borough.

This is Barking & Dagenham.


Half of B&D's residents live in a 2, the next-to-poorest category. No other London borough is so dominated by a particular decile. Almost 80% of B&D is in decile 2 or 3. Nowhere in B&D is a 7, 8, 9 or 10. The only bit of B&D to reach 6 (and be in the least deprived half of the country) is a few streets off Upney Lane. For balance, only a few areas are in the most deprived decile (notably on the Thames View estate or opposite Dagenham Heathway station).

This is Richmond.


Richmond's most common decile is a well-to-do 9. Two thirds of Richmond residents live in a 9 or a 10. No other London borough has quite so many 9s, or quite so many 10s. Very few Richmond residents live in a deprived area. The most deprived part of Richmond is an estate at the Hanworth end of Hampton.

Barking & Dagenham and Richmond are the bookends of London's deprivation index.

Barking & Dagenham's mode is 2 and Richmond's is 9. Here are the modes for all the other London boroughs. This is also what the map at the start of the post was showing.
2: Barking & Dagenham, Camden, Enfield, Greenwich, Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Tower Hamlets
3: Croydon, Hackney, Hillingdon, Islington, Lambeth, Lewisham, Newham, Southwark
4: Brent, Ealing, Hounslow, Waltham Forest
6: Redbridge, Wandsworth
7: Harrow
8: Barnet, Kensington & Chelsea, Westminster
9: Bexley, Bromley, Havering, Kingston, Richmond
10: Merton, Sutton
Seven mostly inner London boroughs have more 2s than any other decile. Roughly half of London's boroughs have a mode of 2 or 3. No borough peaks at 5, but Redbridge and Wandsworth peak at 6, so they're pretty average for England. All the 9s and 10s are outer London boroughs. Merton and Sutton are probably the surprises here, each with 18% of residents living in a 10.

Be careful not to read too much into all this, because the mode can hide a multitude of irregularities. Hillingdon peaks at 2, but 9 is in second place. Camden peaks at 2, but nearly peaks at 6, and also has a fair few 8s, 9s and 10s. Hammersmith & Fulham peaks at 2 because of Hammersmith, not because of Fulham. Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster may peak at 8 but also contain several 1s and 2s. Sutton could have ended up a 7, 8, 9 or 10 - the totals are all very close. And I've missed out the City of London because it only has four areas and they're all different, a 3, a 5, a 9 and a 10.

If you'd like to see the individual percentages for each borough, here's a graphic snapped from my spreadsheet.

Finally, here are a few other facts to be gleaned from London's deciles of deprivation.

Boroughs with no 1s (i.e. no really deprived areas): Bexley, Camden, Harrow, Hillingdon, Kingston, Lambeth, Merton, Redbridge, Richmond, Wandsworth
Boroughs with no 10s (i.e. no really well-to-do areas): Barking & Dagenham, Brent, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea (honest), Lambeth, Lewisham, Newham, Southwark, Waltham Forest

Boroughs with the most 1s: Hackney, Haringey, Enfield, Brent, Kensington & Chelsea
Boroughs with the most 10s: Bromley, Richmond, Sutton, Merton, Kingston, Bexley

Boroughs with nothing above a 5: Newham
Boroughs with nothing above a 6: Barking & Dagenham, Hackney
Boroughs with nothing above a 7: Islington
Boroughs with nothing above an 8: Brent, Lewisham

Boroughs with every decile from 1 to 10: Barnet, Bromley, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Havering, Hounslow, Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Westminster

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