More usable version of the indices of multiple deprivation

We have worked with a number of community groups who would like to compare their data with government data on poverty etc. the indices of multiple deprivation is very cumbersome. A Birmingham only spreadsheet which allows people combine it with their own postcode data and from their map or graph their work would be very helpful. I'm not suggesting an app where they upload data - just a spreadsheet they can download. We can help with skills on what to do next with it. If you go with this v happy to talk in more detail. 

Why the contribution is important

It help all sorts of organisations either demonstrate or explore if their work is benefittng people in the most deprived parts of the city, so makes it easier to target effort and describe benefit. 

by nickbooth on June 09, 2015 at 12:40PM

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  • Posted by davidmchilds June 10, 2015 at 12:18


    Birmingham City Council does not hold specialised information on indices of multiple deprivation. We use data taken from the ([…]/english-indices-of-deprivation) website and in some instances the nomis website. This information is already freely available to all and can be manipulated as required.

    As this data is not held by Birmingham Council and is already available to the public we are not sure this fits under the remit of this discussion.

    However it is an idea that deserves consideration so we will keep this idea on the list but will close the discussion thread.


    Site Admin
  • Posted by APublicServant June 16, 2015 at 09:44

    There was a recent government consultation on the Index of Multiple Deprivation see the link for the consultation response details. The new index will be produced later this year. It not something that Birmingham City Council control. however a means to easily compare ones own business data etc against a Birmingham profile might also be useful. ([…]/updating-the-english-indices-of-deprivation)
  • Posted by APublicServant June 16, 2015 at 09:46

    An alternative to the Index of Multiple Deprivation that goes to a smaller geography and uses the census to classify areas is the Output Area Classification. This is a free census geography based Geodemographic classification. ([…]/index.html)
  • Posted by aileanmac June 23, 2015 at 09:56

    Just a footnote to APublicServant above. The new Index of Multiple Deprivation has been delayed provisionally until September (not June as the link stated). Probably worth bookmarking the following link:[…]/english-indices-of-deprivation.

    OAC as mentioned above is also a very useful classification, we use as an alternative to ACORN or MOSAIC.

    I don't work for the council myself, but we do use it frequently. Some thoughts on IMD below:

    I would assume that the updated index will be coterminous with new lower SOA boundaries, so it's probably worth waiting until this becomes available.

    IMD is attributed to lower super output areas, so from there it's quite easy to attribute to postcodes if you have a lookup table (search for something like 'postcode OA lookup 2011', it might be quite a big file)

    Also to consider is deciding what measure to use:
    1) The raw index score (note that an index score of 100 does not indicate that the area is twice as deprived as a score of 50 (only that it is more deprived than a score of 50), so there is potential for misinterpretation here).
    2) Splitting Birmingham into percentiles (usually five or ten groups that are roughly equal in size according to either population or the number of households).

  • Posted by aileanmac June 23, 2015 at 10:29


    I'll doubtlessly be doing some work on mapping IMD when the new standard is available, and don't mind creating the necessary spreadsheets and/or shapefiles (I will only be using information from the public domain). Will there be some mechanism through this forum to make this available?

    Alternatively, I could create a temporary hotmail address or whatever, and others could e-mail this and request the info when available.

    Any thoughts on this?
  • Posted by davidmchilds June 25, 2015 at 10:51


    Although I am not in a position to guarantee anything, allowing the community to feed back into the Birmingham Datafactory sounds like a very good idea.

    We will make sure that this is discussed and explored going forward.

    Thank you for you comments and support.
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