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National Indicator: Poverty

d Reduce the proportion of individuals living in poverty

Indicator Measure
Proportion of individuals living in private households with an equivalised income of less than 60% of the UK median before housing costs

Current Status
In 2015/16 17% of the population was in relative poverty. This is an increase from 15% in 2014/15.

Poverty chart

Source: Family Resources Survey
The data for this chart is available at the bottom of the page.

Last Update: 16 June 2017
Next Update: June 2018

Reduce the proportion of individuals living in poverty

Why is this National Indicator important?
What will influence this National Indicator?
What is the Government's role?
How is Scotland performing?
What more do we know about this National Indicator?
Criteria for recent change
Further information
Who are our partners?
Related Strategic Objectives

Why is this National Indicator important?

In order to create sustainable economic growth, with opportunities for all to flourish, Scotland needs to maximise its richest resource - its people. This means providing the opportunities and incentives for the whole population to contribute to and share in sustainable economic growth. This can only be done by decreasing the proportion who live in poverty.

Apart from the economic imperative, poverty places a blight on individuals' lives, on the communities in which they live and on society in general. Scotland is a compassionate nation with a strong sense of social justice and a belief in addressing the needs of the vulnerable. The Government believes it is morally unacceptable that 17% of Scotland's people live in poverty.

What will influence this National Indicator?

Poverty is a consequence of a complex and interrelated range of international, national, local community and individual factors. It is influenced by issues such as: the global economy; the UK tax and benefits system; national and local employment rates and wages; education and skills; family upbringing; health and disability; deprived physical environments; access to services; and transport.

What is the Government's role?

There are many drivers of poverty beyond the Scottish Government's control - including macro-economic conditions and a number of levers reserved to the UK Government, such as tax/benefits arrangements. However, the Scottish Government has a significant role to play in tackling the root causes of poverty and mitigating the impacts of poverty through its policies in devolved areas such as education, health, skills, aspects of employability, housing, the criminal justice system and transport. The Government's role in setting and agreeing the key outcomes to be achieved in these areas; in targeting investment and passing legislation in pursuit of these outcomes; and in supporting local delivery bodies in meeting these outcomes, is key to delivering effective interventions which can tackle poverty and help make progress with this indicator.

How is Scotland performing?

Relative poverty Before Housing Costs remained unchanged at 17 per cent from 2005/06 to 2009/10 before falling to 13 per cent over the two years to 2011/12. It has fluctuated since but has risen in each of the last 2 years, returning to 17 per cent in 2015/16.

The data is available at the bottom of the page.

What more do we know about this National Indicator?

The poverty rate rose for children, working age adults and pensioners between 2014/15 and 2015/16. For children the rate increased from 17% to 19%, for working age adults it rose from 15% to 16% and for pensioners it rose from 12% to 13%. There are relatively few pensioners in poverty and so the increase in the indicator has mainly been caused by increases amongst working age adults and children.

Data on poverty rates for various groups of the population will be published on the poverty statistics website (http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Social-Welfare/IncomePoverty) on 12th June 2017.

Criteria for recent change

This evaluation is based on: any difference within +/- 1.0 percentage points of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. A decrease of 1.0 percentage points or more suggests the position is improving; whereas an increase of 1.0 percentage points or more suggests the position is worsening.

Further Information

For information on general methodological approach, please click here

Scotland Performs Technical Note

Who are our partners?

Local Authorities

Related Strategic Objectives

Healthier

Safer and Stronger

Smarter

Wealthier and Fairer

Greener

View National Indicator Data

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Title:Reduce the proportion of individuals living in poverty
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