Using demographic data to drive change

Using demographic data to drive change

Supporting our member boroughs to drive inclusive growth is a key aim for Central London Forward, but what does this actually look like in practice? One of our approaches to this is using the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) to highlight areas within the sub-regional partnership that would benefit from increased activity from our programmes.

The Index of Multiple Deprivation

The IMD is a measure of the relative deprivation in England commissioned by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. To create the IMD, England is split into 32,844 areas of roughly 1500 people each (referred to as Lower-layer Super Output Areas, or LLSOAs) which are then measured against 7 different Indices of Deprivation (IoD) which, when combined and weighted appropriately, form the IMD.


London is an extremely diverse city, and this is reflected in its IMD data. A geographical distance of less than three miles can see you moving from one of the 10% most deprived LLSOAs in the country, to one of the 10% least deprived. In some areas of the city merely crossing a road will have a similar result! The advantages to using LLSOAs over Borough demarcations is evident as it allows local authorities to see a detailed picture of areas in their borough and stops less deprived areas “cancelling out” more deprived areas (e.g. Canary Wharf vs. Poplar within Tower Hamlets).

Our member boroughs use the data to identify areas that need investment. Hackney used the 2010 and 2015 data to invest in access to services and education in their most deprived LLSOAs (which ranked among some of the most relatively deprived areas in England) which has seen them be ranked as relatively less deprived in subsequent reports.

How Central London Works uses the IMD

We take the IMD and the separate IoD data and plot these against the locations of our CLW offices within our boroughs, to ensure that the residents who need to access our programme can do so easily. We recommend that the provider of our programme, Ingeus, has locations or outreach sites within the relatively more deprived areas of our boroughs.

This has impacted the service we provide to residents positively. Ingeus are now operating in 30 outreach locations in the right areas to reach local residents, moving the centres out of central business districts and increasing the amount of LLSOAs they operate in within any given borough. Hackney now has an additional 5 locations in varying LLSOAs. Using the IMD in this manner allows us to keep the aim of driving inclusive growth at the centre of our delivery.

Aaron Ayling – 31.01.2020