Summary: Gender and Income and Poverty
- There has been little difference in the rates for men and women over the last decade although the percentage of women in poverty before housing costs has generally been slightly higher than that for men for much of this period. The percentage of women in poverty before housing costs had been higher than that for men for much of the last ten years but decreased up until 2011-12 to the point where the rates for men and women were equal. In 2015-16, the rate of poverty before housing costs for women (at 17%) was similar to that for men (at 16%).
- After housing costs, the rates of poverty for men and women have been similar over the last 10 years. In 2015-16, 19% of women and 18% of men were in poverty AHC.
A more helpful way of analysing poverty rates by gender is by comparing single adult household compositions.
- The rates of poverty are higher for single working age adults than the population as a whole, though there has generally been little difference between men and women. In 2015-16, 27% of single working age women without children were in poverty after housing costs, compared with 27% of single working age men.
- Poverty rates after housing costs for female lone parents fell sharply in 2010-11. They have been creeping back up since, reaching 45% in 2015-16, and are now close to the 2009/10 level of 47%. Poverty before housing costs for lone parents rose to 31% in 2015-16
The poverty rate before housing costs for single female pensioners has been higher than that for single male pensioners for each of the last ten years.The gap has narrowed in 2015/16 due to an increase in the male pensioner poverty rate and a decrease in the female pensioner poverty rate.
In 2015-16 23% of single women pensioners were in poverty before housing costs, compared with 21% of men. After housing costs, 19% of single women pensioners were in poverty, compared with 14% of men.
Source: Income and Poverty – Main Analysis
Gender Pay Gap
The gender pay gap is a widely recognised measure of gender (in)equality, and is included in the Scottish Government’s equality outcomes.
Public authorities have a duty to publish gender pay gap information. The Equality Outcome states that: "A listed authority must publish information on the percentage difference among its employees between men's average hourly pay (excluding overtime) and women's average hourly pay (excluding overtime)".
- The national figure for the median gender pay gap in Scotland is 6.6% based on full time hourly earnings.
Source: ONS - Annual Survey of hours and Earnings (2017) - Scottish Government analysis
- Within the Scottish Government where men and women are undertaking work of equal value they are paid a similar average hourly rate and consequently the pay gap is low.
- The Equality and Human Rights Commission set tolerance levels of 3% and 5%.
Source: Scottish Government - Equal Pay Equality page
Income and Poverty Page