Social fragmentation was originally modelled by Professor Peter Congdon in 1996. He calculated an ‘anomie score’ in the local resident population, capturing neighbourhoods at greater risk of a lack of social cohesion, isolation, and instability.
We have reproduced this model using small-area census data for the whole of the UK.
Statistical tools like the Global Moran’s I tell us there is a statistically significant spatial structure in the data. Social fragmentation, as defined by the index, clusters spatially at the neighbourhood level, across the UK as a whole (Moran’s Index = 0.58, p <0.01, z = 589, using 8 nearest-neighbours).
Spatial statistics like this are useful to understand real-life processes; in this case social fragmentation follows Tobler’s first law of geography: ‘everything is related to everything else, but near things are more related than distant things.’ By understanding that social fragmentation is concentrated in certain areas we can plan resources where they are needed more effectively.
We can also examine how it may relate to other issues which may follow similar geographic patterns to help guide resource-planning. Examples include gambling prevalence, mental health, social infrastructure provision, crime and public realm quality.
The indicators included in the model are:
• Mobility – residents who did not live at the same address 1 year ago.
• Not living as a couple – residents aged 16+ who are single (never married or never registered a same-sex civil partnership) / separated (but still legally married or still legally in a same-sex civil partnership) / divorced or formerly in a same-sex civil partnership which is now legally dissolved / widowed or surviving a partner from a same-sex civil partnership / also not living as a co-habiting couple.
• Single-person households – households with 1 person living in the household.
• Rented households – both private and social rented households.
To see how your neighbourhood compares to other areas, use our tool below or here.
For further info or comments please get in touch.