Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation

The Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation 2019 (WIMD) is the official measure of deprivation in small areas in Wales. It is a relative measure of concentrations of deprivation at the small area level.

Deprivation is a wider concept than poverty. Poverty means a lack of money. Deprivation refers to wider problems caused by a lack of resources and opportunities. Therefore, WIMD is constructed from eight different types of deprivation. These are:

  • income
  • housing
  • employment
  • access to services
  • education
  • health
  • community safety
  • physical environment.

Wales is divided into 1,909 Lower-Layer Super Output Areas (LSOA) each having about 1,600 people. Deprivation ranks have been worked out for each of these areas: the most deprived LSOA is ranked 1, and the least deprived 1,909. One area has a higher deprivation rank than another if the proportion of people living there who are classed as deprived is higher.

An area itself is not deprived: it is the circumstances and lifestyles of the people living there that affect its deprivation rank. And it is important to remember that not everyone living in a deprived area is deprived—and that not all deprived people live in deprived areas.

WIMD is suited to uses where the interest is in areas with high concentrations of deprivation. It is used to:

  • give an overall deprivation rank for each of the 1,909 LSOAs in Wales
  • give ranks for the separate deprivation domains for each of the LSOAs
  • compare the deprivation ranks for two or more of the LSOAs
  • compare two or more local authorities (or other groups of LSOAs) by looking at the proportion of the LSOAs in the local authority in the most deprived (say) ten per cent in all of Wales.

The index cannot be used to:

  • monitor change over time
  • say how much more deprived one area is than another
  • aggregate to different geographies by taking an average of the ranks of the LSOAs which make up that geography.

To view the levels of deprivation in Gwynedd by each domain go to::

Further information