Yesterday, another slew of Census data was released. This included statistics on deprived households measured across four different factors: levels employment, education, and health and disability as well as quality of housing.
To some extent the data tells us what we already knew; a disproportionate number of England and Wales’ very deprived households – those counted as deprived on all four of the factors listed above – can be found in cities.
But levels of deprivation do vary across cities. As the map below shows Hastings, Liverpool and Bradford have the highest share of people in very deprived households. But, naturally, it is England and Wales’ largest cities that house the largest number of very deprived households – London and Birmingham together account for almost one third (or 38,500 households) of all very deprived households.
At the opposite end of the spectrum in places such as York, Aldershot and Crawley only a very small proportion of households are very deprived. In York, for example, only 211 households (0.2 per cent of the total number of households in the city) are very deprived.
Figure 1: Share of households that are very deprived
Source: Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013, Census 2011
Yet, as Ed Glaeser reminds us, although cities house lots of poor people, they don’t make people poor. As we showed in Cities Outlook, cities cover nine per cent of landmass but house 53 per cent of businesses and 58 per cent of jobs. Because of this, helping those living in deprived households access these job opportunities is critical. And to do this policy makers should focus on things like improving skill levels and making transport to and from employment nodes more affordable.