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The Carstairs and Morris Index

The Carstairs and Morris index (also called the Carstairs index), was originally developed in the 1980s using 1981 Census data at postcode sector level. It comprises four indicators judged to represent material disadvantage in the population (lack of car ownership, low occupational social class [4 & 5], overcrowded households and male unemployment). The index has also been produced based on 1991, 2001 and 2011 Census data.

The Carstairs index has the advantage of being relatively simple and of not including any health indicators (a theoretical advantage when analysing health data). Its main disadvantage is that it is not considered a good reflection of rural deprivation (owning a car may be essential for living in a rural area however poor you are).

Lookup Files

All Carstairs versions
File Format
Postcode - All Carstairs SPSS

Guidance on the use of Carstairs

Please read the PHI Deprivation Guidance Download PDF file [462 Kb] document before using any Carstairs files.

Consistent Areas Through Time in Scotland (CATTs)

CATTs and their population are often useful for the analysis of long time trends covering two or more Censuses. Click this link for more information on CATTs.

Problems with the use of area classifications

There are some possible problems in the use of the Carstairs Index Download PDF file [10 Kb] (which may also apply to other similar area classifications).

Further Information on Carstairs files

Carstairs files and reports written by Philip McLoone are available from the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit Opens in new window.

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