We are testing a new beta website for gov.scot
go to new site
Register to receive email news alerts, daily digest, weekly roundup or Topic newsletters.
Post Equality, Poverty & Welfare Analysis Team Communities Analytical Services Scottish Government 1F North Victoria Quay Edinburgh EH6 6QQ
In 2015-16, before housing costs are accounted for, 19% of children, 16% of working age adults and 16% of pensioners in Scotland were living in relative poverty.
After housing costs, 26% of children, 20% of working age adults and 13% of pensioners in Scotland were living in relative poverty.
Around 13% of children in Scotland lived in workless households in 2016.
Source: Annual Population Survey
More than half (52%) of employees aged 18-24 earned less than the living wage (£8.25 per hour) in 2016. This compares to much lower proportions (less than 20%) amongst the other, older age groups.
Source: Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE)
There were marked age differences in how well people manage financially in 2016: adults aged 16-24 were the least likely to be managing well financially and least likely to have savings. Conversely, with increasing age, people were generally more likely to be coping financially and more likely to have savings.
Source: Scottish Household Survey
Age and Income and Poverty Page
The gap between the 2 groups has remained fairly steady over the last few years but appears to have closed slightly in 2015/16. Due to a change in the way information on people with disabilities was collected, it is not possible to compare the most recent years with years before 2012-13 but before that, the trend had been decreasing poverty for both groups.
Source: Income and Poverty – Main Analysis
Disabled people were less likely to be coping financially. Households that contained at least one person with a long-term illness or a disability were more likely to be ‘not coping’ (15%) than those that did not (10%). The corresponding ‘coping’ figures were 41% and 53% respectively.
Source: Scottish Household Survey, 2009-10, as cited in The Position of Scotland’s Equality Groups. Revisiting Resilience in 2011
Households across Great Britain with a member with a long-standing illness or disability do not appear particularly disadvantaged in the wealth distribution compared to households where there is no disability. However, there is great inequality within disabled households.
Source: Wealth and Assets Survey 2006-08, as cited in EHRC Triennial Review: How fair is Britain? Chapter 12: Standards of Living
Disabled people across Great Britain in all age categories are more likely than non-disabled people to have no bank account and no home contents insurance. This appears to be particularly true for people with a learning disability.
Disability and Income and Poverty Page
Source: Income and Poverty – Equality Analysis
Ethnicity and Income and Poverty Page
A more helpful way of analysing poverty rates by gender is by comparing single adult household compositions.
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 and Income and Poverty Page
Source: Overview of Equality Results from the 2011 Census Release 2
Religion and Income and Poverty Page
Reliable research on the incomes of lesbian, gay and bisexual people relative to heterosexual people is limited. More data should be available in future as new questions are included in national surveys. In the meantime, the Scottish Government does not have sufficiently robust evidence to draw conclusions on the association between income, poverty and sexual orientation.
The Scottish Government does not currently have information on the experiences and position of transgender people in relation to income and poverty.
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. Equality breakdowns illustrate how protected groups are progressing towards achievement of the National Outcomes, particularly ‘we have tackled the significant inequalities in Scottish society’.
Where available, equality breakdowns of progress against this National Indicator can be found under the 'What more do we know about the National indicator?' heading. The national indicator with the most relevance to the income and poverty topic is:
Reduce the proportion of individuals living in poverty
Publications and Outputs
Overview of Equality Results from the 2011 Census Release 2 (2014) - this paper presents analysis of Census (Release 2) data and focuses on ethnicity, religion and disability.
The potential impacts of an online delivery of Universal Credit - Welfare Analysis (2012) - this paper includes a section on socio-economic characteristics of those who are less likely to use the internet.
Fuel Poverty in Scotland: Evidence Review (2012)
The Social Fund: A Review of Selected Literature (2011)
Differences in decline - Relative child poverty in Scotland and England 1998-99 to 2008-09 - Research Findings (2011) - This report summarises the results of an investigation into the differing trends in child poverty across the UK between 1998-99 and 2008-09, focusing on the difference between Scotland and England. It explores the extent to which this difference can be attributed to government policy.
Tackling child poverty in Scotland: Analysis of focus group consultation findings (2011) - This report presents findings from focus groups commissioned by the Scottish Government between November 2010 and January 2011 to inform the development of the Child Poverty Strategy for Scotland.
Tackling Poverty Board: A Summary of Evidence (2011)
Evaluation of the Working for Families Fund (2004-2008) (2009)
The Experience of Rural Poverty in Scotland (2009)
Financial Inclusion: A topic report from the Scottish Household Survey (2007)
Scottish Household Survey and Family Resources Survey microdata is available (through a ‘special licence’ scheme) from the UK Data Archive.
Joseph Rowntree Foundation poverty and ethnicity work programme: http://www.jrf.org.uk/work/workarea/poverty-and-ethnicity
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.
Joseph Rowntree Foundation - research by JRF, 'Poverty and ethnicity in Scotland. Review of the literature and datasets' (2011) reviews the links between poverty and ethnicity in Scotland.
The Poverty Site
The Poverty Site, links to further analyses
Poverty and Social Exclusion survey - 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.
The research below has been carried out independently of the Scottish Government, the results are hosted on an external website and the findings do not necessarily represent the views of the Scottish Government or Scottish Ministers
This paper, produced by Save the Children, gives a statistical snapshot of child poverty in different cities across Scotland, with a specific focus on Income and Education.
Save the Children - Child Povery in Scotland: a local snapshot
Save the Children - Severe Child Poverty in Scotland (2011)
Welsh Government 'An analysis on the impact of the UK Government's welfare reforms in Wales' (2013) - this paper focuses on those with protected equality characteristics.
Income and Poverty
If you have any enquiries relating to Income and Poverty evidence then please contact us at:
0131 244 3004
Equality and Poverty Analysis Team
Communities Analytical Services
Edinburgh EH6 6QQ
Top of page
Page updated: Friday, November 24, 2017