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Summary: Gender and Income and Poverty

MoneySummary: 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

Gender Infographic 1

Gender Infographic 2

  • 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.


Gender Infographic 3

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


Useful Links

Gender Page

Income and Poverty Page

national Performance Framework

National Performance Framework

Fifty National Indicators enable progress towards the achievement of the National Outcomes and ultimately the delivery of the Purpose to be tracked.

Indicators are chosen to show how the Scottish Government are progressing on the range of Outcomes.

National Indicator number 35: Reduce the proportion of individuals living in poverty, data table

- progress against this National Indicator, broken down by Gender, can be found under the 'What more do we know about the National indicator?' heading.

Publications and Outputs



Family Resources Survey microdata is available (through a ‘special licence’ scheme) from the UK Data Archive.

External Links

External Links

Please note that you will leave the Scottish Government web site by clicking on any of the following links, and that the Scottish Government and its staff are not responsible for content external to this web site. The research below has been carried out independently of the Scottish Government and the findings do not necessarily represent the views of the Scottish Government or Scottish Ministers

External Publications and Outputs

The gender pay gap in the UK: children and experience in work (IFS, 2018) An Institute for Fiscal Studies paper looking at the gender pay gap. It looks at the gender pay gap over a 25 year period and investigates the impact that gender differences in career patterns might have on pay, including part-time working

An analysis on the impact of the UK Government's welfare reforms in Wales' (Welsh Government, 2013) This paper focuses on those with protected equality characteristics.

Poverty and Social Exclusion Survey (2013) An Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded UK survey of the dimensions of relative poverty. The Scottish Government has funded a rural boost of the Scottish sample to enable better analysis of this rich data source. Analysis of the Scottish results by the Heriot-Watt and Glasgow University partners in the project were published in 2013.

External Research Organisations

Joseph Rowntree Foundation - Carries out research and analysis of poverty in Scotland and the UK

Poverty Alliance - Poverty Alliance works to reduce poverty, and produces various reports and briefings on income and poverty


Contact Details

If you have any enquiries relating to equality and poverty evidence then please contact us at:




0131 244 3004


Equality and Poverty Analysis Team

Communities Analytical Services

Scottish Government

1F North

Victoria Quay

Edinburgh EH6 6QQ


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