Publication - Statistics

Poverty and Income Inequality in Scotland: 2013/14

Published: 25 Jun 2015
Part of:
Statistics
ISBN:
9781785444975

The latest National Statistics on poverty and income inequality in Scotland, up to and including 2013/14.

79 page PDF

1.9 MB

79 page PDF

1.9 MB

Contents
Poverty and Income Inequality in Scotland: 2013/14
Chapter 1: Poverty

79 page PDF

1.9 MB

Chapter 1: Poverty

1.1 People in poverty

Key points:

Relative Poverty before housing costs:

  • 14 per cent of people in Scotland were living in relative povertyBHC, in 2013/14, a decrease from 16 per cent the previous year.
  • In 2013/14, there were 730 thousand people in Scotland living in relative povertyBHC, 90 thousand fewer than in 2012/13.

After housing costs are taken into account:

  • 18 per cent of people in Scotland were living in relative poverty, a decrease from 19 per cent in 2012/13.
  • In 2012/13, there were 940 thousand people living in relative poverty AHC, 60 thousand fewer than in 2012/13.

Chart 1A – Relative Poverty – All Individuals

Chart 1A - Relative Poverty - All Individuals

Source: HBAI dataset, DWP. See Annex 1 (Tables A1 and A2) for the figures behind these charts.

Confidence intervals for relative can be found in Confidence Intervals Surrounding Key Poverty Estimates.

Relative poverty for all individuals decreased to 14 per cent in 2013/14.

The change in the number and percentage of people in relative poverty between 2012/13 and 2013/14 is not statistically significant. Longer term trends often offer a better indication of significant changes. Following a decrease from 18 per cent in 2003/04, poverty rates remained unchanged at 17 per cent from 2004/05 to 2009/10. The level of relative poverty BHC then decreased to 14 per cent over the two years to 2011/12. Following an increase to 16 per cent in 2012/13, the rate of relative poverty BHC for all people in 2013/14 has returned to levels seen in 2011/12.

After Housing Costs have been taken into account, 18 per cent of people in Scotland were in relative poverty.

The change in the number and percentage of people in relative poverty AHC between 2012/13 and 2013/14 is not statistically significant. Relative poverty AHC had followed a similar trend to relative poverty , remaining relatively unchanged between 2003/04 and 2009/10, followed by a decrease from 19 per cent to 16 over the two years to 2011/12. Relative poverty AHC also decreased in 2013/14, following an increase in 2012/13, but the gap between relative poverty before and after housing costs has widened and is now larger than it has been for more than decade (4 percentage points).

Chart 1B – Absolute Poverty – All Individuals

Chart 1B - Absolute Poverty - All Individuals

Source: HBAI dataset, DWP. See Annex 1 (Tables A1 and A2) for the figures behind these charts.

Confidence intervals for relative and absolute poverty can be found in Confidence Intervals Surrounding Key Poverty Estimates.

Absolute poverty BHC, a measure of whether the lowest income households are keeping pace with inflation, has decreased to 15 per cent in 2013/14, a 2 percentage point decrease compared with 2012/13. In 2013/14 there were 800 thousand people living in absolute poverty 80 thousand fewer than the previous year. As absolute poverty is based on the poverty threshold in 2010/11, and incomes have decreased in real terms since then, absolute poverty rates are higher than relative poverty rates.

Absolute poverty after housing costs are taken into account has also decreased. In 2013/14, 20 per cent of people in Scotland were in absolute poverty AHC, a 1 percentage point decrease compared with 2012/13. In 2013/14, there were 1.03 million people living in absolute poverty AHC in Scotland, 70 thousand fewer than the previous year.

The gap between absolute poverty before and after housing costs has widened to 5 percentage points in 2013/14, an increase from 2 percentage points in 2010/11.

Commentary:

Relative poverty BHC decreased in 2013/14. This reflects increases in employment in Scotland and particularly increases in hours worked. There was a move into employment with increases in the number of working households in Scotland. For those already in employment, there has been a shift from part-time employment to full-time employment. 2013/14 also saw increases in hourly wages across Scotland, especially for those in lower-paid employment.

There was an increase in the personal tax allowance in 2013/14, and increases in working age benefits were largely in line with increases in earnings (but below inflation).

These factors have a varying impact on the rate of poverty with some, such as increasing the personal tax allowance, mitigating the impact of others, such as welfare reform implemented over the last three years. The net effect however is a decrease in relative poverty, following a move into employment and increases in hours worked.

There was an increase in median income in Scotland in 2013/14 compared with the previous year and most incomes deciles also saw either an increase or no change; the exception being the top decile, which decreased. The largest increases in 2013/14 were for those in the bottom two income deciles.

The Scottish Government currently uses two main indicators of low-income poverty, both of which reveal slightly different information about changes in poverty over time. These indicators are relative and absolute poverty.

Relative poverty:
Relative poverty is a measure of whether the incomes of the poorest are increasing in line with middle income households. In this report, individuals are said to be in relative poverty if they are living in households whose equivalised income is below 60 per cent of UK median income in that year. Relative low income rates fall if household income for the poorest households increases faster than median income. In 2013/14, the relative poverty threshold for a couple with no children was an income of £272 per week BHC from all sources (see Annex 2 for further information on income definitions). For a couple with children the threshold would be higher and for a single person (without children) the threshold would be lower. After housing costs, the relative poverty threshold in 2013/14 was £232 per week.

Absolute poverty:
Absolute poverty is a measure of whether income for the lowest income households are keeping pace with inflation. Individuals are said to be living in absolute poverty if they are living in households whose equivalised income is below 60 per cent of the (inflation adjusted) median income in 2010/11. In 2013/14 the absolute poverty threshold for a couple with no children was an income of £280 per week BHC from all sources (see Annex 2 for further information on income definitions). After housing costs, the absolute poverty threshold in 2013/14 was £242 per week.

Scotland Performs:
The Scottish Government’s National Indicator 35 is to “decrease the proportion of individuals living in poverty”:

http://www.gov.scot/About/Performance/scotPerforms/indicator/poverty

This is measured using relative poverty before housing costs.

1.2 Child poverty

Key points:

Relative Poverty before housing costs:

  • 14 per cent of children in Scotland were living in relative poverty BHC in 2013/14, a decrease from 19 per cent the previous year. This decrease is statistically significant.
  • In 2013/14, there were 140 thousand children in Scotland living in relative poverty BHC, 40 thousand fewer than in 2012/13.

After housing costs are taken into account:

  • After housing costs, 22 per cent of children in Scotland were living in relative poverty, unchanged from the previous year.
  • In 2013/14, there were 210 thousand children living in relative poverty AHC, 10 thousand fewer than in 2012/13.

Low Income and Material Deprivation:

  • In 2013/14, 13 per cent of children were living in combined low income BHC and material deprivation, an increase from 11 per cent the previous year. This equates to 130 thousand, 20 thousand more than the previous year.
  • This increase continues the upward trend in child material deprivation seen over recent years.
  • After housing costs, 14 per cent of children in Scotland were living in combined low income AHC and material deprivation, an increase from 12 per cent the previous year. This equates to 140 thousand children, 20 thousand more than the previous year.

Chart 2A – Relative Poverty - Children

Chart 2A - Relative Poverty - Children

Source: HBAI dataset, DWP. See Annex 1 (Table A1) for the figures behind these charts.
Notes:
1. A version of these charts showing the Child Poverty Act targets can be found in Annex 1, Chart A1
2. Confidence intervals for relative child poverty can be found in Confidence Intervals Surrounding Key Poverty Estimates.

Relative child poverty BHC decreased to 14 per cent in 2013/14.

The change in the number and percentage of children in relative poverty between 2012/13 and 2013/14 is statistically significant. Relative child poverty BHC saw a decreasing trend from 23 per cent in 2003/04 to 15 per cent in 2011/12. Following an increase to 19 per cent in 2012/13, child poverty in Scotland has fallen to 14 per cent in 2013/14. This is the lowest level of child poverty recorded by this series, which started in 1994/95.

After Housing Costs have been taken into account, 22 per cent of children in Scotland were in relative poverty.

Relative child poverty AHC had followed a similar trend to relative child poverty, showing a decreasing trend from 26 per cent in 2003/04 to 19 per cent in 2011/12. However, following an increase to 22 per cent in 2012/13, relative child poverty AHC has remained at that level and did not see the decrease in the latest year that is seen before housing costs are taken into consideration. Because of this, the gap between relative child poverty before and after housing costs is now 8 percentage points, an increase from 3 percentage points the previous year.

Chart 2B – Absolute Poverty – Children

Chart 2B - Absolute Poverty - Children

Source: HBAI dataset, DWP. See Annex 1 (Table A2) for the figures behind these charts.

Confidence intervals for absolute child poverty can be found in Confidence Intervals Surrounding Key Poverty Estimates.

Absolute child poverty BHC has decreased to 16 per cent in 2013/14, a 4 percentage point decrease compared with 2012/13. In 2013/14 there were 150 thousand children living in absolute poverty 50 thousand fewer than the previous year.

Absolute child poverty has also decreased after housing costs are taken into account. In 2013/14, 24 per cent of children in Scotland were in absolute poverty AHC, a 1 percentage point decrease compared with 2012/13. In 2013/14, there were 240 thousand children living in absolute poverty AHC in Scotland, 10 thousand fewer than the previous year.

As with relative child poverty, the gap between absolute poverty before and after housing costs has widened. In 2013/14, the gap was 8 percentage points, an increase from 5 percentage points in 2012/13.

Chart 2C – Material deprivation and low income BHC combined and relative poverty before housing costs - Children

Chart 2C - Material deprivation and low income BHC combined and relative poverty before housing costs - Children

Source: HBAI dataset, DWP. See Annex 1 (Tables A1 and A3) for the figures behind these charts.
Notes:
1. A version of these charts showing the Child Poverty Act targets can be found in Annex 1, Chart A1
2. Changes in the material deprivation questions in 2010/11 created a break in the series. Data for 2010/11 onwards is not directly comparable with that prior to 2010/11. Further information is available in Annex 2

Chart 2D – Material deprivation and low income AHC combined and relative poverty after housing costs - Children

Chart 2D - Material deprivation and low income AHC combined and relative poverty after housing costs - Children

Source: HBAI dataset, DWP. See Annex 1 (Tables A1 and A4) for the figures behind these charts.
Notes:
1. A version of these charts showing the Child Poverty Act targets can be found in Annex 1, Chart A1
2. Changes in the material deprivation questions in 2010/11 created a break in the series. Data for 2010/11 onwards is not directly comparable with that prior to 2010/11. Further information is available in Annex 2

In 2013/14, 13 per cent of children in Scotland were living in combined low income BHC and material deprivation. This continues the increasing trend over recent years, with 40 thousand more children living in combined low income BHC and material deprivation than in 2011/12.

14 per cent of children in Scotland were living in combined low income AHC and material deprivation. This continues the increasing trend in child material deprivation and low income AHC seen over recent years, with 30 thousand more children living in combined low income AHC and material deprivation than in 2011/12.

Commentary:

Despite decreases in child poverty before housing costs, poverty after housing costs remains high and there is a trend emerging of increasing material deprivation for those on low incomes.

Over the last decade, the proportion of children in Scotland living in relative poverty BHC had decreased by 8 percentage points from 23 per cent in 2003/04 to 15 per cent in 2011/12, before increasing to 19 per cent in 2012/13. This has decreased to 14 per cent in 2013/14.

Much of the fall in relative child poverty before housing costs in 2013/14 reflects the improved economic circumstances. The latest year has seen increases in employment and a shift from part-time employment to full-time employment. There has also been an increase in lone parent employment rates in Scotland. Employment remains the best route out of poverty, and increases in employment, particularly full-time employment, have increased household income for families with children.

While benefits and earnings increased at about the same rate, but below inflation, increases in employment, particularly for families with children, have increased household income. Additionally, the increase in the personal tax allowance increased net income for those in employment (and earning above the threshold).

However, despite increases in income, child poverty rates after housing costs have not decreased in 2013/14. Changes to housing benefit and increases in both private sector and social sector rents greater than increases in earnings mean that while incomes increased, there was not necessarily any improvement in standards of living.

Material Deprivation and Low Income Combined Poverty Indicator:

Combined low income and child material deprivation is an additional way of measuring living standards and refers to the inability of households to afford basic goods and activities that are seen as necessities in society. It is a more direct measure of poverty than income alone, as it captures changes in standard of living.

Material deprivation is calculated from a suite of questions in the Family Resources Survey about whether people can afford to buy certain items and participate in leisure or social activities. This measure is applied to households with incomes below 70 per cent of UK median income (£317 per week) to create the 'material deprivation and low income combined' indicator. This indicator aims to provide a measure of children's living standards which, unlike relative and absolute poverty, is not solely based on income.

For more detail about this indicator see Annex 2

Child Poverty Act:
The 2010 Child Poverty Act, which the UK parliament is required to report on, includes 4 indicators of child poverty. Included in this section are 3 of these indicators at Scotland level:

  • relative poverty BHC,
  • absolute poverty BHC,
  • material deprivation and low income BHC combined.

There is also a persistent poverty indicator in the Act. It is expected that statistics to measure this target will be available at the end of 2015. Information on the targets for the Child Poverty Act can be found in Annex 1.

Scotland Performs:
The Scottish Government’s National Indicator 36 is to “reduce children’s deprivation”:

http://www.gov.scot/About/Performance/scotPerforms/indicator/childdeprivation

This is measured using the material deprivation and low income BHC combined poverty indicator.

1.3 Working age adult poverty

Key points:

Relative Poverty before housing costs:

  • 14 per cent of working age adults in Scotland were living in relative poverty BHC in 2013/14, a decrease from 15 per cent the previous year.
  • In 2013/14, there were 440 thousand working age adults in Scotland living in relative poverty BHC, 40 thousand fewer than in 2012/13.

After housing costs are taken into account:

  • 19 per cent of working age adults in Scotland were living in relative poverty, a decrease from 21 per cent the previous year.
  • In 2013/14, there were 600 thousand working age adults living in relative poverty AHC, 60 thousand fewer than in 2012/13.

Chart 3A - Relative Poverty – Working Age Adults

Chart 3A - Relative Poverty - Working Age Adults

Source: HBAI dataset, DWP. These figures are also presented in Annex 1 (Table A1
Confidence intervals for relative working age adult poverty can be found in Confidence Intervals Surrounding Key Poverty Estimates.

Relative poverty BHC for working age adults decreased to 14 per cent in 2013/14. The change in the number and percentage of working age adults in relative poverty BHC between 2012/13 and 2013/14 is not statistically significant. The trend for working age adults in relative poverty BHC has been gradually decreasing over the last decade with poverty rates before housing costs decreasing from 16 per cent a decade ago to 13 per cent in 2011/12, before increasing again.

After Housing Costs have been taken into account, 19 per cent of working age adults in Scotland were in relative poverty. The change in the number and percentage of working age adults in relative poverty AHC between 2012/13 and 2013/14 is not statistically significant. Relative poverty AHC had followed a similar trend to relative poverty BHC, remaining between 17 and 19 per cent between 2003/04, before increasing to 21 per cent in 2012/13. In 2013/14, it has returned to 19 per cent. As with relative poverty for other groups, the gap between poverty rates before and after housing costs has increased in recent years. The gap had been 3 percentage points for the 3 years to 2009/10 before widening to 6 percentage points in 2012/13. The gap decreased to 5 percentage points in 2013/14.

Chart 3B - Absolute Poverty – Working Age Adults

Chart 3B - Absolute Poverty - Working Age Adults

Source: HBAI dataset, DWP. These figures are also presented in Annex 1 (Table A2
Confidence intervals for absolute working age adult poverty can be found in Confidence Intervals Surrounding Key Poverty Estimates.

Absolute poverty for working age adults BHC has decreased to 15 per cent in 2013/14, a 1 percentage point decrease compared with 2012/13. In 2013/14 there were 480 thousand working age adults living in absolute poverty BHC, 30 thousand fewer than the previous year.

Absolute poverty after housing costs are taken into account has also decreased. In 2013/14, 20 per cent of people in Scotland were in absolute poverty AHC, a 2 percentage point decrease compared with 2012/13. In 2013/14, there were 650 thousand people living in absolute poverty AHC in Scotland, 60 thousand fewer than the previous year.

The gap between absolute poverty before and after housing costs has been the same as that for relative poverty since 2007/08. The gap had been 3 percentage points for the 3 years to 2009/10 before widening to 6 percentage points in 2012/13. The gap decreased to 5 percentage points in 2013/14.

Commentary:

The percentage of working age adults in relative poverty BHC has recorded a gradual decrease through the last decade.

Over the year to March 2014, there was an increase in the number of adults in employment compared with the previous year and unemployment decreased. There was also an increase in the number of hours worked, with a shift from part-time to full-time employment, and from self-employment, which has a higher risk of poverty, into paid employment. The percentage of those in poverty in part-time employment halved from 16 per cent to 8 per cent. In 2013/14, Scotland also saw increases in hourly pay. For those in employment, earnings increased, particularly for the lowest paid 20 per cent of employees. Combined with increases in the percentage of people living in households where all adults were working full-time, incomes at the bottom of the distribution have increased and poverty has decreased.

Employment remains the best route out of poverty, and for those in employment the two key reasons for moving out of poverty are increases in hourly pay and increases in hours worked, both of which have happened in Scotland in 2013/14.

For those not in employment, increases in key working age benefits in 2013/14 were largely in line with median earnings, but below inflation.

Working age vs. State pension age:

Working age adults are defined as all adults up to the state pension age. Prior to April 2010, women reached the state pension age at 60. Between April 2010 and March 2016 the state pension age for women is increasing to 63 and will then increase to 65 between April 2016 to November 2018. At this point the state pension age for men and women will be the same. The changes do not affect the state pension age for men, which remains at 65. The impact is to retain more women in the working age adult group, who in previous years would have been classified as pensioners.

1.4 Pensioner poverty

Key points:

Relative Poverty before housing costs:

  • 15 per cent of pensioners in Scotland were living in relative poverty BHC in 2013/14, unchanged from the previous year.
  • In 2013/14, there were 160 thousand pensioners in Scotland living in relative poverty BHC, 10 thousand more than in 2012/13.

After housing costs are taken into account:

  • 12 per cent of pensioners in Scotland were living in relative poverty AHC, an increase from 11 per cent the previous year.
  • In 2013/14, 120 thousand pensioners were living in relative poverty AHC, the same number as the previous year.

Material Deprivation:

  • In 2013/14, 9 per cent of pensioners were living in material deprivation, an increase from 8 per cent the previous year. In 2013/14, there were 80 thousand pensioners in Scotland living in material deprivation, 10 thousand more than the previous year.

The majority of pensioners own their own home, so for this reason the preferred measure of low income for pensioners is based on incomes measured AHC. Examining pensioners’ incomes compared to others after deducting housing costs allows for more meaningful comparisons of income between working age people and pensioners, and the pensioner population over time.

Chart 4A – Relative Poverty and Material Deprivation - Pensioners

Chart 4A - Relative Poverty and Material Deprivation - Pensioners

Source: HBAI dataset, DWP. These figures are also presented in Annex 1 (Tables A1 and A5).
Confidence intervals for relative pensioner poverty can be found in Confidence Intervals Surrounding Key Poverty Estimates
Notes:
1. Pensioner material deprivation is not solely based on affordability and so should not be compared directly with measures of income-related poverty.
2. Pensioner material deprivation is included for those aged 65 and over only and therefore is not the same population as relative and absolute poverty measures.

Relative poverty BHC for pensioners was 15 per cent in 2013/14.

The change in the number of pensioners in relative poverty BHC between 2012/13 and 2013/14 is not statistically significant. Pensioner relative poverty BHC decreased from 22 per cent in 2003/04 to a low of 14 per cent in 2011/12 and has remained stable since then.

After Housing Costs have been taken into account, 12 per cent of pensioners in Scotland were in relative poverty.

The change in the percentage of pensioners in relative poverty AHC between 2012/13 and 2013/14 is not statistically significant. Relative pensioner poverty AHC, having been higher than relative poverty BHC in 2002/03, decreased faster than relative pensioner poverty BHC. Relative pensioner poverty AHC decreased from 25 per cent in 2002/03to 11 per cent in 2008/09 and has been lower than relative poverty BHC since 2003/04. It has remained stable since 2008/09.

Pensioner material deprivation increased to 9 per cent in 2013/14, a 1 percentage point increase on the previous year. Having decreased from 10 per cent in 2009/10 to 7 per cent in 2010/11, there has been a small increase since then to 2013/14, but still below the level seen in 2009/10.

Chart 4B - Absolute Poverty – Pensioners

Chart 4B - Absolute Poverty - Pensioners

Source: HBAI dataset, DWP. These figures are also presented in Annex 1 (Table A2
Confidence intervals for absolute pensioner poverty can be found in Confidence Intervals Surrounding Key Poverty Estimates

Absolute pensioner poverty BHC has increased to 17 per cent in 2013/14, a 1 percentage point increase compared with 2012/13. In 2013/14 there were 170 thousand pensioners living in absolute poverty BHC, the same as in 2012/13.

Absolute poverty after housing costs are taken into account has also increased. In 2013/14, 14 per cent of pensioners in Scotland were in absolute poverty AHC, a 1 percentage point increase compared with 2012/13. In 2013/14, there were 140 thousand pensioners living in absolute poverty AHC in Scotland, the same as in 2012/13.

Unlike for other groups of the population, the gap between absolute poverty before and after housing costs has narrowed in recent years to 3 percentage points in 2013/14, a decrease from 7 percentage points in 2007/08. Between 2004/05 and 2009/10, absolute pensioner poverty AHC was between 5 and 7 percentage points lower than absolute pebsioner poverty BHC. This gap narrowed from 2010/11 onwards.

Commentary:

Over the last decade, the proportion of pensioners in Scotland in relative poverty BHC has fallen 7 percentage points from 22 per cent in 2003/04 to 15 per cent in 2013/14. However, poverty rates for pensioners have been relatively stable since 2008/09.

Households containing pensioners at the lower end of the income distribution generally received a larger proportion of their income from benefits and a smaller proportion from other sources. The Basic State Pension (BSP) increased by 2.5 per cent and Pension Credit Guarantee Credit increased by 1.9 per cent, larger than increases in other benefits and tax credits but still below the level of RPI inflation in 2013/14 (2.9 per cent). While increases in earnings contributed to the decrease in poverty rates for other groups, pensioner poverty remained unchanged due to the relative importance of BSP and other benefits to pensioner incomes at the bottom of the income distribution.

Median income BHC for families with children has decreased every year since 2009/10. While median income BHC for pensioners has also shown decreases over the same period, the decreases have been smaller than that for families with children. Median income for families with children has fallen by 11 per cent since 2009/10, compared with a 5 per cent fall in pensioner median income, meaning in 2013/14 median income for families with children was similar to that for pensioners.

State pension age:
Pensioners are defined as all those adults above State Pension age. Prior to April 2010, women reached the state pension age at 60. Between April 2010 and March 2016 the state pension age for women is increasing to 63 and will then increase to 65 between April 2016 to November 2018At this point the state pension age for men and women will be the same. The changes do not affect the state pension age for men, which remains at 65. Therefore, as with the previous three reports, the age groups covered by the analysis pensioner poverty will change for the 2013/14 reportThe impact is that more women will remain in the working age adult group, who in previous years would have been classified as pensioners.

The pensioner material deprivation statistics will continue to be based on pensioners aged 65 and over.

Pensioner Material Deprivation Indicator:
Pensioner material deprivation is an additional way of measuring living standards for pensioners. It focuses on access to specific goods, services and experiences. It is used to explore a broader definition of pensioner poverty and captures both financial and non-financial reasons for being in material deprivation. Pensioner material deprivation captures whether it is health or disability, or if someone is available to help them, that prevents access to goods and services, rather than solely low income.

This measure is based on a set of goods, services and experiences, judged using academic research to be the best discriminators of deprivation. Pensioners are asked if they have an item (or access to a service) and to give a reason if they do not have it. Their responses are then used to judge whether or not they are materially deprived. It is similar to the child material deprivation and low income combined indicator (which is presented in Charts 2C and 2D) but has some important differences:

  • Differences in the set of items asked about, e.g. pensioners are not asked if they can afford school trips.
  • Pensioners are presented with a greater variety of reasons for not having a particular item, whereas households with children are simply asked whether they can afford an item they do not have. Pensioners are able to say if they are prevented from having it due to ill health, disability or lack of support from other people. These additions reflect that deprivation can occur because of ill health, disability or social isolation, and not just for financial reasons.
  • The pensioner “material deprivation” indicator is not combined with household income information to produce a combined indicator, as is done with the child deprivation indicator. This is because for pensioners, the concept of material deprivation is broad and very different from low income, so it is appropriate to present it as a separate measure.

For these reasons, pensioner material deprivation cannot be directly compared to the child material deprivation and low income measure.

More background on pensioner material deprivation is given in Annex 2, and the following technical note on the DWP website gives further information, including the list of questions which are asked to pensioners:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/households-below-average-income-hbai-technical-note-on-pensioner-material-deprivation

1.5 In-work relative poverty

Key points:

  • In 2013/14, 48 per cent of working age adults in poverty BHC were living in working households, as were 56 per cent of children in poverty.
  • In 2013/14, 50 per cent of working age adults in poverty AHC were living in working households, as were 56 per cent of children in poverty.

Chart 5A – Percentage of children and working age adults in poverty BHC, living in a household with at least one adult in employment

Chart 5A - Percentage of children and working age adults in poverty BHC, living in a household with at least one adult in employment

Source: HBAI dataset, DWP. These figures are also presented in Annex 1 (Table A6).

Chart 5B – Percentage of children and working age adults in poverty AHC, living in a household with at least one adult in employment

Chart 5B - Percentage of children and working age adults in poverty AHC, living in a household with at least one adult in employment

Source: HBAI dataset, DWP. These figures are also presented in Annex 1 (Table A7).

Commentary:

In-work poverty BHC in Scotland decreased in 2013/14, with 210 thousand working age adults in in-work poverty BHC - a decrease of 40 thousand compared with 2012/13. Just under half (48 per cent) of working age adults in poverty BHC were living in working households in 2013/14.

The number of children living in poverty BHC who were in working households has also decreased in the latest year, with 80 thousand children in Scotland living in working households in 2013/14. There were 30 thousand fewer children in in-work poverty BHC in 2013/14 compared with the previous year, returning to the number seen in 2011/12. However, over half (56 per cent) of children in poverty BHC in Scotland in 2013/14 were living in working households.

In-work poverty AHC decreased for working age adults but not for children. In 2013/14, child in-work poverty AHC remained at 56 per cent while working age adult in-work poverty BHC decreased from 56 to 50 per cent.

While the overall number of children living in relative poverty BHC has fallen over recent years, a greater proportion were living in working households. The fact that there remain 80 thousand children in in-work poverty BHC despite the overall number dropping means they make up a larger percentage of those in poverty BHC.

The two key reasons for moving out of in-work poverty are increases in hourly pay and increases in hours worked. In 2013/14, there were increases in hourly pay, particularly for the lowest paid 20 per cent of employees, and a shift from part-time employment to full-time employment, particularly for women. For men there has been a shift from self-employment, which has a higher risk of poverty, to paid employment.

In-work poverty:
‘In-work poverty’ refers to those individuals living in households where at least one member of the household is working (either full or part-time) but where the household income is below the relative poverty threshold. This measure is calculated on income before housing costs and after housing costs. This group contains non-working household members such as children and non-working partners.


Contact

Email: Stephen Smith