The latest Scottish Government figures on multiple deprivation in local communities have been published today (Tuesday 28 January) and the Na h-Eileanan an Iar local authority has no areas among the 20% most deprived in Scotland.
But Scotland’s chief statistician, Roger Holliday, has warned that this does not mean there are no people experiencing deprivation living there.
Over half of people on low income do not live in the 20% most deprived areas in Scotland, so using the figures to identify individuals experiencing deprivation will not work in remote rural areas and the islands.
Roger Halliday said: "I welcome these statistics and the work done to make this complex information more easily accessible. I know how widely the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation is used as a vital resource for local planning, by third sector organisations bringing together resources needed to do their great work, and by many others. However, we must also focus on the strengths and assets of communities if we are to work together to make Scotland a fair and inclusive place to live."
The Scottish Index of Muptiple Deprivation (SIMD) is a tool for identifying the places in Scotland where people are experiencing disadvantage across different aspects of their lives, such as in education, employment, healthcare and housing.
It ranks data zones covering the whole of Scotland from the most deprived to the least deprived. 6,976 data zones include some in areas of the Western Isles including in Point, Ness, Lochs, the Westside and throughout Harris, the Uists and Barra.
Stornoway town has the highest comparative multiple deprivation index, with Stornoway West scoring poorly on income and employment and especially on crime, but the index rating of the area is balanced by a good score on education, housing and especially on access to services.
Outside Stornoway the highest areas of multiple deprivation are in parts of South and North-west Lewis and in South Uist and Eriskay, where a very poor rating on access to services is balanced by good availability of housing and a very low crime rate.
The full results are available on a searchable map here.