The Tech Partnership

Get Digital Heatmap


The Get Digital Heatmap shows the likelihood of digital exclusion across the UK at local authority level.

First launched in October 2015, the heatmap was developed with the Local Government Association and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). It uses insights into basic digital skills from the annual Get Digital Basic Skills Survey, produced in association with Lloyds Banking Group.

This latest version was updated in August 2017.


How the heatmap works

The likelihood of exclusion is ranked on a 9-point scale, with 9 indicating the highest likelihood. These scores are then combined as shown in the table below: 

 Low  Medium  High
 Medium  4  5  6
 High  7  8  9


The calculations

This system of calculations and scoring provides an easy-to-understand 3-tier likelihood of low, medium or high exclusion. Overall scores of 1-3 give a low likelihood of overall exclusion; a score of 4-6 gives a medium likelihood; and a score of 7-9 gives a high likelihood of overall exclusion. The individual areas on the map each shows the actual overall score as described in the table above using the associated colour.

Areas with exclusion scores in the highest 80% are considered to have high levels of exclusion; those with scores in the lowest 20% are considered to have low levels of exclusion; those with scores between 20% and 80% are considered to have medium levels of exclusion.

Each individual metric is scored this way, and the overall indicator level for each area is then calculated from these. More details of the methodology is available from LSE’s DiSTO: From digital skills to tangible outcomes - Improving measures and models of digital engagement study.

The Data

The heatmap uses open source data provided by agencies including the Office for National Statistics, Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, National Records of Scotland, Ofcom and HM Revenue and Customs.

The data for each metric is shown at Local Authority level on the map. When the data is only available at a higher geographical level (such as NUTS 3), we have applied the same data to all the Local Authorities within that area and noted the relevant geography in the metric information panel on the map.

The data on basic digital skills comes from the Get Digital Skills Survey. Ipsos MORI conducted 4,000 in-home face-to-face interviews with adults aged 15+ using its weekly CAPIBUS. The CAPIBUS sampling covers a number of Output Areas to ensure a representative view of the UK. Interviewing was conducted for a two-week period in November 2016 across the UK.

Each respondent was allocated an Output Area Classification (OAC) based on their postcode. In order to estimate the level of digital capability across all Local Authorities in the UK, the OAC profile of each Local Authority was used to proportionally allocate the digital capability scores seen for each OAC and thus provide an overall score for that Local Authority. The level of digital capability for each OAC was calculated based on the basic digital skills questions ‘skills could do if asked’ and ‘skills done in last 3 months’.



The Get Digital Heatmap uses the following data sources:

Digital metrics:

Social metrics: