Deprivation, policy and rurality: the limitations and applications of area-based deprivation indices in Scotland

Clelland, D. and Hill, C. (2019) Deprivation, policy and rurality: the limitations and applications of area-based deprivation indices in Scotland. Local Economy, 34(1), pp. 33-50. (doi: 10.1177/0269094219827893)

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Indices of multiple deprivation have become increasingly sophisticated and high profile as a means of identifying and targeting deprived areas and populations. However, these have been challenged on a number of grounds, both conceptual and practical, with particular concerns about their applicability to rural areas. At the same time, there is little research on how such measures are used in practice or how they influence policies or the allocation of resources. This paper seeks to quantify the effectiveness of this type of measure in terms of inclusion or exclusion of deprived populations implied by targeting areas based on the results of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. The results show that the proportion of deprived individuals within these apparently most deprived areas varies widely across different regions. However, this was not strongly related to rurality, suggesting that claims of an inherent bias against rural regions resulting from the use of these measures should be treated with caution. Nevertheless, this analysis demonstrates potential drawbacks to the uncritical reliance on indices of multiple deprivation as a basis for policy and highlights the need for the aims and rationales of such approaches to be more clearly articulated.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hill, Professor Carol and Clelland, Mr David
Authors: Clelland, D., and Hill, C.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Journal Name:Local Economy
Publisher:Routledge (part of Taylor and Francis)
ISSN (Online):1470-9325
Published Online:13 February 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Authors 2019
First Published:First published in Local Economy 34(1):33-50
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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