“Left Behind” Neighbourhoods in England: Where They Are and Why They Matter

Vikki Houlden, Caitlin Robinson, Rachel Franklin, Francisco Rowe, Andy Pike

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


The term “left behind” has come to connote political disaffection, alongside social and spatial inequalities in wealth and opportunity. Yet the term is also widely contested, often prioritising a regional and economic perspective at the expense of a more local and nuanced approach. In response, we argue that neighbourhood context is integral to understanding and identifying “left behind” places. Building a neighbourhood classification of “left behindness” for England, we evaluate the extent to which the neighbourhood trajectory contributes to our understanding of a range of multidimensional individual-level outcomes. Our findings reveal a geography of neighbourhoods that are systematically disadvantaged over time, concentrated in major urban conurbations, and post-industrial and coastal towns. The magnitude and impact is highlighted through poorer economic, health, social, and political outcomes for those living in “left behind” areas.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Geographical Journal
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 26 Feb 2024

Structured keywords

  • Poverty
  • Bristol Poverty Institute
  • Jean Golding


  • Inequality
  • Left behind
  • Neighbourhoods
  • Sequence Analysis
  • Multi-level modelling


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