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Wirral Indices of Deprivation

Index of Multiple Deprivation 2019

We now have the latest 2019 results for the Indices of Deprivation (also known as the Index of Multiple Deprivation or IMD).

The Indices of Deprivation are a unique measure of relative deprivation at a small local area level (Lower-layer Super Output Areas) across England and have been produced by this department and its predecessors in similar way since 2000. The Indices of Deprivation 2019 (IoD2019) is the most recent release.

Local content:

National content:

  • Wirral is not in the 20% most deprived of authorities in 2019 overall, although there are many areas of severe deprivation in certain areas of Wirral (largely in the East of the borough). It ceased being in the 20% most deprived of areas in the 2015 IMD. In previous IMDs, Wirral had been classed as being in the 20% most deprived authorities in England.

  • In 2019, Wirral was ranked the 77th most deprived authority (of 317 authorities) in England (1 the being most deprived, 317 the least deprived). Although the increase in rank appears to indicate Wirral has become less deprived (Wirral ranked 66 in the previous IMD in 2015 and 60 in the 2010 IMD), this is not necessarily the case.

  •  The number of Local Authorities has reduced from 326 in 2015, to 317 in 2019 and it is this factor which is likely to account for some of the change in rank. In fact, the overall number of Wirral LSOAs in the most deprived 20% of areas in England has increased to 72 in the 2019 IMD, from 62 in 2015 (an increase of 10 LSOAs).

  • Also, the number of LSOAs in the most deprived decile (10%) has been used as an indicator on how deprivation may have changed by the DCLG, and in their main summary report on the IMD 2019, Wirral is specifically mentioned (page 16) as one of the authorities which has become relatively more deprived in 2019 compared to 2015.

  • The population of those Wirral LSOAs (n=72) classified as being amongst the 20% most deprived nationally is around 115,500. In 2015, 95,500 people lived in the 62 LSOAs classified as being in the most deprived 20% in England. In other words, an additional 20,000 residents are now classed as living in deprivation, compared to 2015.

  • As was the case in all previous IMDs, the 2019 IMD shows that most urban areas in England contain high levels of deprivation. These are often areas that have historically had large heavy industry, manufacturing and/or mining sectors which have declined over recent decades. London is one of the only English cities to see some of its neighbourhoods become less deprived.

  • There has been little movement from previous IMDs overall however; 88% of LSOAs in the most deprived decile (10% of areas) in England according to the Index of Multiple Deprivation in 2019 were also the most deprived decile in 2015.

  • As with previous Indices, Merseyside stands out as containing large concentrations of deprived LSOAs (many of which are in Wirral). In fact, Liverpool, followed by Manchester are the local authorities with the highest proportions of their population classed as living among the most deprived quintile in England (62% and 60% respectively). In Wirral, just over 35% of our population are now classed as living in deprivation in 2019, compared to 31% in 2015.

  • The Indices of Deprivation (also known as the Index of Multiple Deprivation or IMD) is a measure of relative deprivation at a small area level covering all 32,844 Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs) in England.

  • In other words, it measures how deprived an area is compared to all other areas of England. It is an important tool to identify disadvantaged areas so that policy makers can target limited resources where they are most needed.

  • This is the 7th time the IMD has been calculated, it was first calculated in 2000 and has been re-calculated every few years since (2002, 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2015). The 2019 update is broadly comparable to the 2015, 2010, 2007 and 2004 Indices (but not the first two IMDs in 2002 and 2000, due to significant differences in methodology).

  • Areas are usually referred to as deprived if they fall into among the most deprived quintile (20%) of areas in England. Deprivation covers a broad range of issues and refers to unmet need caused by a lack of resources of all kinds, not just financial resources.

  • Deprivation covers a broad range of issues and refers to unmet need caused by a lack of resources of all kinds, not just financial resources. The IMD attempts to capture deprivation in its broadest sense, using seven distinct ‘domains’.

  • The Indices provide a set of relative measures of deprivation for small across England, based on seven different domains, or facets, of deprivation: Income Deprivation, Employment, Deprivation, Education, Skills and Training Deprivation, Health Deprivation and Disability, Crime, Barriers to Housing and Services and Living Environment Deprivation


Previous Index of Multiple Deprivation

National and regional summary

  • As was the case in previous IMDs, the 2015 IMD shows that most urban areas in England contain high levels of deprivation. These are often areas that have historically had large heavy industry, manufacturing and/or mining sectors which have declined over recent decades. 

  • Middlesbrough, Knowsley, Kingston upon Hull, Liverpool and Manchester are the local authorities with the highest proportions of the population classed as living among the most deprived in England. It would appear that deprived neighbourhoods have become more common over the last decade. 

  • For example, the proportion of local authorities which have at least one neighbourhood in the most deprived decile (10%) has increased from just under half (49%) of local authorities in 2004, to 61% in 2015.  As with previous Indices, Merseyside stands out as containing large concentrations of deprived LSOAs (many of which are in Wirral).

Key messages IMD for Wirral 2015: 

  • Wirral was the 66th most deprived authority (of 326 authorities) in England according to the 2015 IMD (1 being the most deprived, 326 the least deprived). Wirral ranked 60th in the previous IMD in 2010

  • This ranking of 66, means Wirral is no longer classified as being one of the 20% most deprived authorities in England (as it was previous IMDs). This could mean that relative to other authorities, Wirral has become less deprived, or that other authorities in England have become more deprived (the IMD is a relative Index, areas are always judged in relation to one another, they are not compared historically)

  • Although Wirral overall is no longer in the 20% most deprived of areas in England, many of the LSOAs within Wirral are classed as being amongst the most deprived in the country (and Wirral is only just outside the 20% most deprived, as the cut off was the 65th ranked authority, Wirral was 66th)

  • There are 10 Wirral LSOAs which are classed as being in the 1% most deprived LSOAs in England. Eight of these were in Birkenhead Constituency, two were in Wallasey Constituency

  • The overall number of Wirral LSOAs in the most deprived 20% of areas in England has decreased from 67 in the 2007 IMD, to 64 in 2010, to 62 in 2015. This appears to show a trend toward deprivation in Wirral being concentrated in fewer LSOAs over time

  • The population of those Wirral LSOAs (n=62) classified as being amongst the 20% most deprived nationally is 95,585. In other words, almost one in three (30%) of the Wirral population live in areas classified as being amongst the 20% most deprived in England (see Figure 1 below)

  • Wirral performs best on the Education & Skills and Living Environment domains, but these two only contribute 23% to the overall IMD

  • Wirral performs particularly poorly on three domains (Income, Employment and Health & Disability). Two of these are heavily weighted on the IMD (Income and Employment contribute 22.5% each to the overall Index) hence Wirral’s relatively poor ranking on the overall IMD 2015 (and previous IMDs)

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