High deprivation levels are associated with
low economic activity, high unemployment, unhealthy lifestyles,
high levels of limiting long-term illness and disability, low life
expectancy, poor educational attainment, poor housing quality and
overcrowding, and high levels of crime and anti-social
Deprivation is more than just poverty of
income: whether the residents of an area experience deprivation is
also influenced by education, skills, health, housing, crime,
access to essential services, environmental quality, and many
Facts, Figures and Trends
The key source of data on the level,
distribution and nature of deprivation is provided by the Indices
of Deprivation produced by the Department for Communities and Local
Government (DCLG 2015).
While there are other individual datasets that
measure aspects of deprivation, these are either already
incorporated into the Indices of Deprivation or are highly
correlated with the Indices. Accordingly, this chapter just
focuses on the Indices of Deprivation as a proxy for measurement of
deprivation in the Borough, including deprivation among children
and older people.
The Indices of Deprivation are prepared using
the Lower Super Output Area (LSOA) geography which has the dual
benefits of consistent size throughout England, and being stable
over time so that changes in deprivation levels can be
There are 32,844 LSOAs in England (103 in
Bedford Borough). Deprivation scores are calculated for each LSOA
and they are then ranked from 1 (most deprived) to 32,844 (least
deprived). The rankings are often reported as deciles of
deprivation from 0-10% (most deprived), 10-20%, 20-30%.…..90-100%
It should be noted that:
1. The Indices of
Deprivation measure relative deprivation, not
2. Not all residents
of deprived areas are deprived, and not all deprived people live in
The Indices of Deprivation
The latest edition, the Indices of
Deprivation 2015, was released on 30th September
2015 and replaces the previous version which was produced in 2010
and was fast becoming outdated (DCLG 2010). A total of 37
variables are used in the Indices of Deprivation, with most dating
from 2013 and 2014, though some 2011 Census data is also used.
Analysis of the Bedford Borough 2015
deprivation data, including comparison with 2010, is available
here. For detailed background on deprivation in the
Borough, reference should be made to those pages on this website;
only a summary of key findings and implications is provided
in this chapter of the JSNA.
The Indices of Deprivation 2015 provide a
national ranking of local deprivation levels using a series of 7
Domains (income, employment, health and disability, crime, etc)
which are then weighted and combined to form the most commonly
referenced measure of deprivation, the Index of Multiple
Nationally, Bedford Borough is in the mid
range on overall deprivation, ranking 148 out of 326 local
authorities in England (where 1 is the most deprived) on the 2015
IMD (based on the ‘rank of average
However, this average rating masks areas of
significant deprivation affecting many residents in Bedford and
Of the 103 LSOAs in Bedford Borough, 5 are
among the 0-10% most deprived areas in England on the IMD (these
are LSOAs in parts of Castle (2), Cauldwell, Harpur and Kingsbrook
wards). In 2010 there were 4 LSOAs in the 0-10% decile.
A further 9 LSOAs are in the 10-20% decile (7
in 2010), with 11 more in the 20-30% decile (11 in 2010).
Figure 1 provides a breakdown of the 103 LSOAs
in the Borough on the IMD 2015 by decile of deprivation, along with
a comparison to 2010:
Figure1: IMD 2015 and IMD 2010
by Decile of Deprivation
Source: DCLG, Indices of Deprivation 2015
All 25 of these LSOAs are in Bedford or
Kempston Towns, with the greatest deprivation centred on Castle,
Cauldwell, Goldington, Harpur, Kingsbrook, and Queens Park wards.
Their locations are shown in Figure 2:
Bedford Borough LSOAs among 0-30% most deprived areas in England
The Income Deprivation Affecting
Children Index (IDACI) is a sub-division of the
Income Domain of the Indices of Deprivation 2015 and measures the
proportion of children living in households which claim various
On the IDACI measure, Bedford Borough has 5
LSOAs in the 0-10% decile, 11 in the 10-20% decile, and 11 in the
20-30%. The 27 LSOAs in the 0-30% most deprived areas was
greater than the 24 in 2010, though the number in the 0-10% decile
did improve from 9 to 5.
Of the 27 LSOAs in the 0-30% most deprived, 25
are located in the Urban Area and are shown in Figure 3. The
two exceptions in the Rural Area are both in the 20-30% decile –
LSOA 487 in the Shortstown area of Eastcotts ward, and LSOA 548
which covers the new Wixams community in Wilshamstead ward.
Bedford Borough LSOAs among 0-30% most deprived areas in England
The Indices of Deprivation 2015 also provide a
measure of Income Deprivation Affecting Older People
On the IDAOPI Index, Bedford Borough has 6
LSOAs among the 0-10% decile, 5 among the 10-20%, and 13 among the
20-30%. In total, 24 LSOAs are among the 0-30% most deprived
areas nationally; while this is higher than in 2010 (23), the
number in the 0-10% decile did improve from 9 to
Overall, 13.5% of older people in the Borough are income
deprived, though this ranges up to a high of 50% in LSOA 471 in
What is this telling us?
Key insights provided by the Indices of
Deprivation 2015 into the scale, nature and distribution of
deprivation in the Borough include:
1. Deprivation is
multidimensional. The 5 LSOAs in the 0-10% IMD decile are
within the 0-20% level on almost every individual Domain of
2. Deprivation is
entrenched and persistent. Every single one of the 22 LSOAs
which were among the 0-30% most deprived areas on the IMD in 2010
were also in the 0-30% in 2015.
3. There was some
deterioration in the overall level of (relative) deprivation in the
Borough between 2010 and 2015.
This is evidenced by the deterioration
in the overall Borough ranking, by the greater number of LSOAs
falling within the 0-20% most deprived areas, and by the worsening
average LSOA rankings in many of the more deprived wards including
Cauldwell, Goldington, Harpur, Kingsbrook and Queens Park (though
there was marginal improvement in Castle ward).
Furthermore, of the 25 LSOAs that were
among the 0-30% most deprived in 2015, only 5 improved their
ranking between 2010 and 2015. Twenty of the 25 deteriorated.
2015 Deprivation report for detailed analysis of changes
between 2010 and 2015 (report will be available shortly))
4. Among individual
dimensions of deprivation, there was generally little change in the
Borough between 2010 and 2015, though the number of LSOAs in the
0-10% decile on the Income related measures (the Income Domain,
IDACI and IDAOPI) was lower, indicating some improvement.
There was also improvement in the Health and Disability Domain with
only 2 LSOAs in the 0-10% decile compared to 6 in 2010 (though 8
were in the 10-20% decile compared to only 5 in 2010).
5. Areas of high
deprivation in Bedford and Kempston generally have a much higher
proportion of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups than the
Borough as a whole.
Across the 14 LSOAs in the Borough
which fall among the 0-20% most deprived areas in England, BME
groups form almost exactly 50% of the population. This BME
proportion is much higher than the 28.5% among the total Borough
population, or the 37% BME in Bedford and Kempston where all 14 of
these LSOAs are located.
6. There is a very
pronounced urban:rural deprivation divide in the Borough. All
of the 25 LSOAs in the 0-30% most deprived areas on the IMD are in
Bedford or Kempston Towns.
There are small pockets of deprivation
in the Rural Area but the LSOA geography is probably too large to
capture these effectively (analysis of the IMD 2007 at the much
smaller Census Output area level has identified deprivation in the
Shortstown area of Eastcotts).
Where the Rural Area does exhibit high
deprivation is in access to basic services such as a post office,
GP, food store and primary school. There are 39 LSOAs which
fall within the 0-30% most deprived on the Geographical Barriers
sub-domain, and almost all are in the Rural Area. While lack of
access to such services may not be a concern for those who move to
these areas for lifestyle reasons, inaccessibility may be a major
issue for older rural residents, those in poor health, and other
What are the key inequalities?
A report by Bedford Borough’s Director of
Public Health (DPH 2013) documents the high correlation between
levels of deprivation and health inequalities in the Borough.
This analysis compares the health outcomes and
performance on the wider determinants of health (e.g. education) of
residents of those LSOAs in the Borough which are among the 0-20%
most deprived nationally with residents of the least 80% deprived.
The health inequalities are stark:
“There are significant economic and health
inequalities in Bedford Borough. The inequalities in life
expectancy are so great that Bedford Borough is amongst the 20% of
local authorities in England with the greatest inequalities. There
is a significant and growing gap in life expectancy between the 20%
most deprived and the rest of the population, especially among
females.” (DPH 2013, pg 43)
Though this analysis was based on the 2010
Indices of Deprivation and has not yet been updated for the 2015
Indices of Deprivation, there is no question that an updated
analysis would confirm the extremely strong link between
deprivation and health inequalities.
This chapter links to the following chapters in
· Life Expectancy
· Economic Wellbeing
· Air Quality
· Natural Environment and Green Space
· School Life