Scotland’s most and least deprived areas unveiled



Greenock town centre has replaced Ferguslie Park in Paisley as the most deprived area of Scotland, according to official figures.

Oak Mall shopping centre in Greenock (Picture: Google Street View)

The latest update of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) 2020 has been published which identifies the places in Scotland where people are experiencing disadvantage across different aspects of their lives.

Stockbridge, in Edinburgh, has been named as having the least deprivation.

The SIMD tool gives a ranking for each small area, or data zone, which shows how deprived that area is compared to other areas. Changes in the rank for one area may be due to other areas becoming more or less deprived.

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%
  • Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Shetland and Orkney have no areas among the 20% most deprived in Scotland, however, this does not mean there are no people experiencing deprivation living there
  • 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 points

Commenting that news that Greenock town centre is the most deprived area in Scotland and that Inverclyde has the largest share of deprived areas, Inverclyde Council leader Stephen McCabe has called for the level of deprivation to be declared as an emergency with resources targeted to improve the unacceptable situation.

He said: “The level of deprivation is simply unacceptable and too many people are being failed. Naturally people will ask why this level of poverty exists in Scotland with the wealth of assets we have, however, on a local level this is an absolute failure to address key issues at the root cause and the council, working with government, must treat the level of deprivation in Inverclyde as an emergency.

“For far too long this has just been accepted, it should be a political outrage and going forward we need to make sure our resources are targeted on what will drastically reduce the level of deprivation in Inverclyde. “ 

Scotland’s chief statistician, Roger Halliday, said: “I welcome these statistics and the work done to make this complex information more easily accessible. I know how widely the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation is used as a vital resource for local planning, by third sector organisations bringing together resources needed to do their great work, and by many others.

“However, we must also focus on the strengths and assets of communities if we are to work together to make Scotland a fair and inclusive place to live.”



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