The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) 2012 identifies small area concentrations of multiple deprivation across all of Scotland in a fair way.
SIMD 2012 is an update with improvements on the SIMD 2009 and uses the same geographical base (datazones) as previous versions of the SIMD. Due to improvements to indicators and methodology, the overall SIMD 2012 and most domains are not directly comparable in absolute terms with those in the SIMD 2009. However there does still remain a strong correlation between SIMD 2009 and SIMD 2012.
The SIMD provides a relative measure of deprivation which means that the main output from SIMD - the SIMD ranks - can be used to compare data zones by providing a relative ranking from most deprived (rank 1) to least deprived (rank 6,505). The SIMD cannot be used to determine 'how much' more deprived one data zone is than another e.g. it is not possible to say that data zone X, ranked 50, is twice as deprived as data zone Y, ranked 100.
The SIMD can be used to identify Scotland's most deprived small areas on the overall index and each individual domain, commonly by applying a cut off such as 10%, 15% or 20%. The cut off should be informed by whether it aims to target areas with the very highest concentrations of deprivation or to be wider ranging.
All versions of the SIMD - SIMD 2012, SIMD 2009, SIMD 2006 and SIMD 2004 - are heavily based on the methodology developed by the Social Disadvantage Research Centre at the University of Oxford.
In developing an area-based measure of deprivation, the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation was the Scottish Executive's response to the August 2003 report 'Measuring Deprivation in Scotland : Developing a Long-Term Strategy'.
The final report and the Scottish Executive response are available here:
Measuring Deprivation in Scotland : Developing a Long-Term Strategy and Scottish Executive response