What has Census 2021 revealed about levels of household deprivation?

An illustration of a magnifying glass looking at a person - symbol of Census 2021

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The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published the first wave of small area data for the topic summary “Demography and Migration”, and already there are some big stories for local areas emerging from the datasets. 

This blog focuses on the dataset “Households by deprivation” which is a useful measure for identifying households with deprivation challenges across a broad range of themes. Whilst the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) measures multiple deprivation at a place-based level, this data gives a more granular insight into what is happening in individual households.

The measure classifies households in England and Wales by four dimensions of deprivation: 

  • Employment
    • A household is classified as deprived in the employment dimension if any member, not a full-time student, is either unemployed, permanently sick or disabled
  • Education
    • A household is classified as deprived in the education dimension if no one has at least level 2 education and no one aged 16 to 18 years is a full-time student
  • Health and disability
    • A household is classified as deprived in the health dimension if any member is disabled
  • Housing
    • A household is classified as deprived in the housing dimension if the household’s accommodation is either overcrowded, in a shared dwelling, or has no central heating

The North East has the highest percentage of households deprived in at least one dimension

The North East has the highest percentage of households deprived in at least one dimension (54.55%), followed by the West Midlands (54.09%) and Wales (54.09%). These regions have a higher percentage of household deprivation than the national average across both England and Wales (51.71%). On the opposite end of the scale, the East of England, South West and South East have the lowest proportion of households with deprivation challenges, with percentage figures of 50.44, 49.94 and 47.96, respectively. 

Significant differences in concentration of household deprivation when looking at one dimension or three dimensions

Visualising the households which are deprived in only one dimension reveals a different story. As we can see in the map below, the East of England and areas on the coast of the East Midlands have the highest level of households which are deprived in either employment, education, health or housing. 

Map shows local authorities in East of England with high concentrations of households deprived in one dimension

However, this changes when looking at households which are deprived in more than one dimension. As we can see in the map below, there is a lower proportion of households in the East of England and East Midlands which are deprived in three dimensions. Instead, areas which encompass major cities (such as Birmingham, Nottingham, Liverpool and Manchester) have a higher proportion of households with deprivation challenges covering more than one theme. 

Map shows concentration of areas that have higher proportion of households with multiple deprivation challenges.

Four of the ten MSOAs with highest percentages of households deprived in all four dimensions are based in London

The table below shows the ten MSOAs with the highest percentage of households deprived in at least one dimension. Four of these top ten MSOAs are in Birmingham, with Sparkbrook North in Birmingham having the highest proportion of deprived households across all MSOAs in England and Wales (78.69%). 

MSOA (local authority)% of households deprived in at least one dimension
Sparkbrook North (Birmingham)78.69
Grimsby East Marsh & Port (North East Lincolnshire)78.58
St Matthews & Highfields North (Leicester)78.50
Saltley East (Birmingham)77.84
Alexandra Park (Oldham)77.67
Washwood Heath (Birmingham)77.24
Pellon East (Calderdale)76.98
Nechells (Birmingham)76.96
Oldham Town North (Oldham)76.92
Rumworth North (Bolton)76.72

 

We can also use this measure to identify areas that have a large proportion of households with multiple needs. The table below shows the ten MSOAs with the highest percentage of households deprived in all four dimensions. As we can see, 40% of these are located in London Boroughs. Clacton Central in Tendring has the highest proportion of households with multiple needs across England and Wales (1.78%), followed by Boscombe West in Bournemouth (1.63%) and Kilburn East in Camden (1.62%).

MSOA (local authority)% of households deprived in all four dimensions
Clacton Central (Tendring)1.78
Boscombe West (Bournemouth)1.63
Kilburn East (Camden)1.62
Pier (Eastbourne)1.62
Westbourne (Westminster)1.56
Folkestone Harbour (Shepway)1.55
Church Street (Westminster)1.55
Northumberland Park (Haringey)1.46
South Promenade & Seasiders Way (Blackpool)1.45
North Shore (Blackpool)1.43

 

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