At the end of September, DCLG published the new 2015 Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) on the PublishMyData-powered OpenDataCommunities.org. This is one of the most widely used government datasets, so we’re really excited to help make it available in a range of machine readable ways, supplementing the more traditional spreadsheet downloads available on gov.uk.

The IMD includes 10 indicators for each of 32000+ small areas (LSOAs) across England, so there is a large quantity of quite detailed data: so it’s very valuable to be able to select just the parts you want, and combine and compare that with other data.

As part of the data release, Swirrl was responsible for two very useful new tools for selecting and downloading data. The postcode lookup tool lets you enter up to 10,000 postcodes (I chose four) and get the deprivation data you want in a choice of an Excel or CSV (comma-separated-values) file.

The resulting spreadsheet gives you a stack of data relating to income, employment, education, crime, health, barriers to housing and living environment. It also provides IDACI and IDAOPI scores, which are the indexes for income deprivation affecting children and old people. The tool was designed to meet a common request from academics, government researchers and businesses, who want easy access to the deprivation data for lists of addresses of interest. It’s can also be really interesting if you’re considering different places to live because it allows quick comparison of all deprivation data across different postcodes.

The local authority lookup tool acts in a similar way but you get a list of alphabetically organised counties and local authority districts to choose from, bringing in all the postcodes from that area. This screenshot shows the list of counties:

Because we’ve published the data to a 5-star standard you can get to it in a raft of machine readable formats via an API, as well as by download, so its ideal for making your own visualisations and applications. Steve Peters, who leads the OpenDataCommunities project, used it to make this 2015 Indices of Deprivation Map Explorer.

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