GREENOCK town centre, Carntyne West and Haghill in Glasgow, Ferguslie Park in Paisley – these are the three most deprived areas in Scotland, according to new figures.

Alloa South and East, Buckhaven, Denbeath and Muiredge in Fife and Cliftonville in North Lanarkshire were also amongst the areas named the country's worst-off in the latest Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD).

The in-depth research, released every four years, ranks almost 7000 "datazones" based on the levels of income, education, crime and other factors experienced by residents.

Access to GPs and other services is also factored in.

Stockbridge in Edinburgh was found to be the least deprived part of the country, followed by Aberdeen's West End North and Midstocket areas.

As well as having the country's worst-off district, Inverclyde was also found to have the highest proportion of datazones in the 20% most-deprived parts.

Jim Clocherty, depute leader of Labour-run Inverclyde Council, said the results show "investment can't come soon enough".

He stated: "No part of Scotland wants to be labelled as the ‘most deprived’.

“Investment in communities is investment in people and a cuts agenda in recent years has unequally affected the core funding for local government in Scotland."

Clocherty went on: "These statistics need to be a wake-up call to Scottish civic and political leaders to bring an end to the austerity and cuts agenda once and for all. It is time that core local government essential services were invested in to allow local councils real freedom to focus on the areas that needs help instead of spending most of our time trying to find the next part of the service to cut.”

But the updated results were welcomed in Ferguslie Park, which had held the worst-off status for the past eight years.

Praising community work and investment, John MacIntyre, chair of Ferguslie Community Council, said: “For far too long our past reputation based on these types of statistics has made it harder for us to play a full part in the wider Renfrewshire area.

“This is clear evidence that we do not deserve the tag of most deprived estate in Scotland. It's time to praise the community efforts and actions taken over many years, in bringing Ferguslie Park out of the statistical disadvantage it has suffered too long from.”

Meanwhile, separate research shows the death rate for strokes and other similar conditions is more than 50% higher in the poorest districts.

The mortality rate from cerebrovascular disease (CVD) in the most deprived communities was 92.3 per 100,000 people in 2018. This compares to 60.6 per 100,000 in the best-off areas. The figures, published by the statistical division of the NHS in Scotland, show the gap was widening.

Between 2009 and 2018, the mortality rate in the most deprived areas fell by 31.5%. But in the most affluent areas the reduction was 41.7%.

Scottish Greens co-leader Alison Johnstone called the results "simply unacceptable".

But there were improvements in other health matters and Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick said: “We remain focussed on addressing the underlying causes that drive health inequalities, which has income inequality at its heart.

“We are also tackling the wider causes of health inequalities through measures such as investing in affordable housing, providing free school meals and continuing commitments like free prescriptions, concessionary travel and free personal care.”