07 Aug 2013

Levels of deprivation in London – see how it looks in your area

William Taylor

London is an interesting city. It has a rich history spanning many centuries. Over the years, different towns, previously not part of the capital, have expanded and stitched themselves together to form the metropolis we know today. This happened at an especially increased rate during the industrial revolution. New developments would spring up to house workers brought in from the surrounding countryside to staff new and rapidly growing industries in the city. It has been suggested that the east-west divide has been a legacy of this – the prevailing wind would blow factory smoke across the city to the east, driving those who could afford west towards cleaner and fresher air.

The UK Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) is a starting point for investigating how prevalent this still is. The IMD score is not only a measure of affluence but measures a lack of resources of all kinds. Deprivation in this study can be defined in a broad way to encompass a wide range of aspects of an individual’s living conditions. Using this data, it is possible to map London accordingly, and this gives rise to some interesting questions. While the more deprived areas appear to be in the east, the real driver for a high deprivation score looks to be the Lea Valley, running from Hertfordshire down through Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets – the three boroughs with the highest levels of deprivation. Further to this, it is interesting to see how localised deprivation can be, and how this is especially influenced by geographical factors. For example, the Great Northern Railway line running through Haringey seems to divide the borough in two, in terms of deprivation, almost precisely along the tracks.

Find out more for yourself with the interactive charts below. A more detailed view is available on the second tab, with the ability to search by postcode.

The visualisation above has been put together using the IMD 2010 dataset available here. Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs) were mapped to postcodes and shown through Tableau Public 8, which can now support 1 million rows of data. This is a great improvement and now allows highly detailed analysis to be published for free to a wide audience. More information on the Index of Multiple Deprivation is available here.

If you found this blog post interesting, you might want to explore the "Factors Affecting Educational Attainment – Deprivation & Ethnicity" dashboard which can be found here.