Digital Exclusion Risk Index

DERI (The Digital Exclusion Risk Index) has been produced by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, following on from an original project by Salford City Council to examine relative risk of digital exclusion by local communities in the area. The value of the index in the wider region, and across Great Britain, was recognised by the authority, which has therefore compiled the index to cover the whole country, and regularly updated and refined its methodology.

Using DERI can give an insight into areas which may suffer increased digital exclusion as public services move online. In London's case, this is another factor to consider when looking at London's poverty and deprivation picture in general.

Digital Exclusion Risk Index: Overall Score (2021)

Here, we look at the DERI v1.5 which was released in late 2021, and look to see how it can inform variations in the risk of exclusion to digital delivery of services and products such as council services and retail.

The main map, above, shows DERI values as higher or lower with respect to the average across the whole of England. While much of London, due to its relatively young demographic and good broadband access, is in the lower range, there are a number of exclusion risk hotspots that do appear in the analysis. These are shown as pink on the map and are areas in London where special consideration must be made when moving services and information online.

The index includes three main components - deprivation (which is based on the Index of Multiple Deprivation - IMD), broadband speed/availability, and demography. The last component compensates for IMD being a general deprivation measure, whereas digital exclusion can affect certain demographics more strongly even if they are considered to not be deprived in general.

For each of these components, a map is shown below indicating areas with substantially higher or lower values than the mean across the residential population across the whole of England (not just London). This means a majority of areas may fall to one side of the mid category, when looking at just London.

DERI - Deprivation Score (2019)

For London, the IMD, which has been covered by a number of the experimental poverty and deprivation maps included in the London Poverty Profile previously, is shown here as a constituent of the DERI score. A familiar general pattern of deprivation in many parts of Scotland, particularly in the north-east and east, is mirrored in the deprivation component map and this in turn is the major factor, for London, in determining the digital exclusion risk in general.

DERI - Broadband Exclusion (2020)

Broadband speed and availability is generally good in London with respective to many other more rural regions of the UK where infrastructure costs are high, with the exception of some localised areas mainly in the centre of London (where very old street layouts provide engineering challenges to laying broadband), but also Rotherhithe in London, a largely 1990s post-industrial inner city housing development with legacy infrastructure issues relating to the time period it was developed.

DERI - Demographic Challenges (2021)

London's demographic composition with respect to the rest of England means it does not significantly contribute to digital exclusion risk here, as shown by the predomiance of areas with lower DERI demographic component scores. There is an increase in the risk profile of the outer edges of north, east and south London, where older, less qualified residents, those with a lower social grade, a high proportion of pension credit claimants (with respect to the general old-age population), unemplotyment or activity-limiting disabilities are present in a slightly greater proportion than other areas in the city.

While some of the input data is from the 2011 Census, most of the inputs are more recent, using IMD and mid-year population estimates from 2019, broadband data from reports in 2019 and 2020, and claimant counts from 2021.

The DERI score combines the three components together, to produce a weighted score that is applicable across the whole of England, with a higher score indicating an increased risk of digital exclusion within modern society. In London's case, the DERI score map largely mirrors the deprivation map, but the demographics of the outer edge of London do serve to move a small number of areas here into a higher DERI score.

Using DERI can give an insight into areas which may suffer increased digital exclusion as public services move online. In London's case, this is another factor to consider when looking at London's poverty and deprivation picture in general.