Responding to COVID-19: insight, support and guidance

Nearest Neighbours Model - England

Each local authority is unique – not only are its social and physical characteristics different to those of other authorities, but its traditions, organisation and practices are also distinctive. Our Nearest Neighbour Model uses a range of demographic and socio-economic indicators to help councils identify the most appropriate authorities to benchmark themselves against, helping them to better assess financial risks.

With their distinctive characteristics, measuring similarities between local authorises can be a subjective process.

Our Nearest Neighbours Model tool uses statistical processes but the factors upon which the classifications are based need to provide a balanced representation of the authorities' traits.

The variables employed in making the assessment are all therefore descriptive of characteristics of the area each authority administers and not of the way in which resource of services are taken into account.

The output returned by these calculations is a simplistic way of presenting a fairly complex underlying idea. Broadly speaking results and common sense go hand in hand reasonably well.

Nevertheless, the outcome ultimately relies on the indicators and mathematical procedures used.

Featuring 41 metrics using a wide range of social‐economic indicators, the tool is designed to help you to interpret results and deep dive into how the statistical distance between other authorities arises, enabling you to see how the statistical relationship between you and your neighbours has changed.

Part of our CIPFAstats+ product suite

The Nearest Neighbours Model is part of our CIPFAstats+ product suite.

CIPFAstats+ gives you access to comprehensive financial and non-financial data on how local authority frontline services are performing.

CIPFAstats+ covers key areas such as education, social care, housing services, culture, leisure and recreation, waste management and more. It also encompasses our Housing 360 tools and the VfM Toolkit.


*Purchase of the model grants access until the next revised version is released in 2021.

Organisations with a full internet CIPFAstats subscription: FREE

Public Sector Organisation: £950 + VAT

Private Organisation: £2,950 + VAT

Please ensure you purchase the correct version of the model for your organisation.

Terms and Conditions of use for this product can be found here

Further help

For further assistant please email us at E: or contact us on T: 0207 543 5600 and ask to speak to a member of the Research & Analytics team.

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