English Atlas of inequality: understanding the local nature of a global phenomenon

This project will create an English Atlas of Inequality covering every local authority and ‘travel to work area’ in England, with the aim of developing a better understanding of how inequalities are distributed at the local level. The project will develop new measures of local inequality – going beyond existing local measures of deprivation - and explore links with key data relating to income, education, skills, disadvantage, and health. 

The project will use a wide range of data to research how to best measure local inequality, look at whether more equal areas might have better outcomes, and understand which areas of England are most unequal and whether this might affect people’s life chances. The data will include: 

  • ONS Research Output: Income from PAYE and benefits;
  • Individual indices from the Index of Multiple Deprivation;
  • Unadjusted Means-Tested Benefits Rate (UMBR);
  • Pupil attainment data by Key Stage; and,
  • ONS mortality data     

The results will be published in the atlas, which will provide a detailed neighbourhood-level study, and will enable users to compare inequalities within and between 326 local authority areas and 151 travel to work areas. It will allow policymakers, government and the public a greater understanding of local inequalities, and their potential impact to inform future policymaking.

Project details



Professor Alasdair Rae, Department of Urban Studies & Planning, University of Sheffield

Grant amount and duration:


September 2018 – November 2019