English Indices of Deprivation 2019

Levels of deprivation in the Dover District

Key findings for the Dover District on levels of deprivation, according to the Indices of Deprivation 2019. 

Background Information

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) released the English Indices of Deprivation 2019 (IoD 2019) in September 2019, updating the Indices of Deprivation 2015 (IoD 2015). 

The English Indices of Deprivation are the Government’s official measure of multiple deprivation at small area level (called Lower-layer Super Output Areas or LSOAs) and provide a consistent measure of deprivation across England. The indices are used extensively by local authorities to identify areas of deprivation at a local level, to support funding applications and to target resources.

LSOAs are designed to be of a similar population size, with an average of approximately 1,500 residents or 650 households and, generally, cover a smaller geographical area than ward boundaries. There are 32,844 LSOAs across England, with 67 LSOAs in the Dover District. 

Components of the Indices of Deprivation 2019

Deprivation is multi-dimensional and includes a general lack of resources and opportunities as well as a lack of income. To reflect this, the Indices of Deprivation are based on a range of indicators, organised across seven distinct types of deprivation or 'domains'. These are:   

      1.  Income Deprivation 

      2.  Employment Deprivation 

      3.  Education, Skills and Training Deprivation 

      4.  Health Deprivation and Disability 

      5.  Crime 

      6.  Barriers to Housing and Services 

      7.  Living Environment Deprivation 

Each of these domains are based on a basket of indicators. As far as is possible, each indicator is based on data from the most recent time point available. The Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) combines and weights information from the seven domains to produce an overall relative measure of deprivation. 

There are also two Supplementary Indices:

  • Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (aged 0-15 years) and
  • Income Deprivation Affecting Older People Index (aged 60 plus years

These are created as subsets from the Income Deprivation domain.

The Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD), domain indices and the supplementary indices, together with the higher area summaries, are collectively referred to as the Indices of Deprivation (IoD).

The Index of Multiple Deprivation is the most widely used of the Indices.  


The Indices of Deprivation ranks each small area in England from the most to the least deprived. The LSOAs are then divided into 10 equal groups called ‘deciles’. LSOAs in Decile 1 fall within the most deprived 10% nationally. LSOAs in Decile 10 fall within the least deprived 10% nationally.

The overall scores themselves have little meaning (except for the income and employment domains). Ranks and Deciles are most often used to describe the area.

There is no definitive threshold above which an area can be described as ‘deprived’ and the Indices of Deprivation are a continuous scale of deprivation. It is often taken to be the most deprived 10% or 20% of LSOAs as the group of highly deprived areas.

A geographical area itself is not deprived – it is the circumstances and lifestyles of the people living there that affect its deprivation score. It is also important to remember that not everyone living in a deprived area is deprived – and that not all deprived people live in deprived areas. 

The information from the Indices of Deprivation helps councils, and other public bodies, identify the most disadvantaged areas so that resources and funding are allocated appropriately.

The 2019 update is a direct update of the 2015 indices, so that the data is comparable between the two. It is important to note, however, that changes in rank position represents relative changes in deprivation, not absolute changes. Therefore, it is possible for a place to have become less deprived in real terms between 2015 and 2019, but more deprived relative to other places.  

National Summary Measures

A range of national summary measures are available for higher-level geographies, such as Local Authority Districts, to help compare areas. These are: 

  • Average Score
  • Average Rank
  • Proportion of LSOAs in the most deprived 10% nationally
  • Extent
  • Local concentration

These measures are produced for the overall IMD, each of the seven domains and the supplementary indices. No single summary is the 'best' measure. Each measure highlights different aspects of deprivation, and comparison of the different measures is needed to give a fuller description of deprivation in a larger area. Please see the English Indices of Deprivation 2019 technical report for a description of the summary measures. 

In our Key Findings for the Dover District, we focus on the Rank of Average Score for comparisons as we have done for previous IoD releases. 

How can the indices be used? 

The Indices of Deprivation 2019 can be used for: 

  • Comparing small areas across England
  • Identifying the most deprived small areas
  • Exploring the different types (or domains) of deprivation
  • Comparing larger administrative areas e.g. local authorities
  • Looking at changes in relative deprivation between iterations (i.e. changes in ranks)

The Indices of Deprivation 2019 cannot be used for: 

  • Quantifying how deprived a small area is
  • Identifying deprived people
  • Saying how affluent a place is
  • Comparing with small areas in other UK countries
  • Measuring absolute change in deprivation over time

Levels of deprivation in the Dover District

Key findings for the Dover District on the levels of deprivation, according to the Indices of Deprivation 2019. 

Useful Links

English Indices of Deprivation 2015

Please see link for information on the English Indices of Deprivation 2015