The latest update of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) 2020 has been published by Scotland's Chief Statistician.

The latest figures show:

  • the least deprived area is in Stockbridge, Edinburgh. This represents a change since SIMD 2016, when the least deprived area was in Giffnock
  • the most deprived area is in Greenock town centre. This represents a change since SIMD 2016 and 2012, when the most deprived area was identified as Ferguslie Park, Paisley
  • the area with the largest local share of deprived areas was Inverclyde, with 45% of data zones among the 20% most deprived areas in Scotland
  • Glasgow City has similar deprivation levels at 44%
  • other local authorities with relatively high levels of deprivation include North Ayrshire and West Dunbartonshire at 40% and Dundee City at 38%
  • over half of people on low income do not live in the 20% most deprived areas in Scotland
  • levels of deprivation have fallen in Glasgow City, Renfrewshire and City of Edinburgh compared to SIMD 2016. Glasgow City showed the biggest fall, from 48% of data zones in the 20% most deprived areas in Scotland, to 44%
  • levels of deprivation have increased in Aberdeen City, North Lanarkshire, Moray, East Lothian, Highland and North Ayrshire. None of these increases are greater than 2 percentage point


The SIMD is a tool for identifying the places in Scotland where people are experiencing disadvantage across different aspects of their lives. SIMD ranks nearly 7,000 small areas, or data zones, covering the whole of Scotland from the most deprived to the least deprived and reports statistics on income, employment, health, education, access to services, crime and housing.

SIMD is a relative measure which shows whether one area is more deprived than another, but it does not say how much more deprived. A change in level of deprivation, or SIMD rank, shows that the relative deprivation compared to other parts of Scotland has changed, but this does not necessarily mean that the area has changed in an absolute sense.

Deprivation in larger areas, such as local authority areas, is measured by the proportion of data zones in that area which are classified as 'deprived'. The choice of cut-off level, such as 15% or 20% most deprived areas, will depend on the purpose of the analysis.

SIMD is used to help organisations invest in areas most in need. It can also be used by communities to highlight the things that matter to them, and identify opportunities to improve the lives of local people.

SIMD identifies deprived areas, not people. Over half of people on low income do not live in the 20% most deprived areas in Scotland. So using SIMD to identify individuals experiencing deprivation will not work in some areas, such as remote rural areas and the islands.

The SIMD 2020 introductory booklet is available here.

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