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

Researchers: Professor Alasdair Rae

By Nuffield Foundation

Project overview

This project will create an ‘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 will 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 best to measure local inequality, will look at whether more equal areas might have better outcomes, and seek to 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
  • ONS mortality data.

The results will be published in the Atlas, which will provide a detailed neighbourhood-level study, enabling 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.

Latest on this project


  • Professor Alasdair Rae
    University of Sheffield

  • Alex Beer
    Senior Consultant, Welfare
    Nuffield Foundation
  • Director, Welfare
    Nuffield Foundation

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