News

Children in families with limited resources across Scotland 2014-2017

Published: 28 Feb 2019 09:30

Experimental statistics

Experimental statistics on 'Children in families with limited resources across Scotland 2014-2017' were released by Scotland’s Chief Statistician today. This statistical release provides local estimates for the proportion of children in families with limited resources by local authority area and household characteristics. The purpose of the limited resources local measure is to provide local area breakdowns to inform local planning.

Key points

Just over a fifth (21%) of children in the sample were in families with limited resources after housing costs.

There were only five local authority areas which showed statistically significant differences compared to Scotland overall. Children were more likely to live in families with limited resources in Glasgow (43%) and South Ayrshire (36%) compared with Scotland as a whole. Children were less likely to live in families with limited resources in East Lothian and Aberdeenshire (both 5%), and East Renfrewshire (9%).

There was a clear gradient in relation to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation, with children in the most deprived areas being ten times more likely to live in families with limited resources than those from the least deprived areas: 41% in the 20% most deprived areas, falling to 4% in the 20% least deprived areas. Children living in accessible rural areas were also less likely to have limited resources (13%).

Findings are in line with existing evidence on child poverty in Scotland in that children were more likely to have limited resources compared to Scotland as a whole if they lived in single parent households (41%), or households with disabled adults (33%) or four or more children (39%). Children were less likely to have limited resources if they lived in families with two children (16%).

Children were more likely to have limited resources compared to Scotland as a whole if they lived in households with at most one adult in employment (39%), or lived in rented accommodation (43%). Children were less likely to have limited resources if they lived in families with at least two adults in employment (5%).

Background

These statistics replace the previously published experimental statistics 'children in families with limited resources across Scotland 2014-2016' (released in November 2017). The most recent estimates are being released as web tables and can be found at https://www2.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Social-Welfare/IncomePoverty/LAPovertyData 

Due to methodological changes that affected the sample size, data for four years have been combined for this release to achieve a sample size which allows local breakdowns. Please note that the figures in the new release are not directly comparable with the ones published previously due to the changes in methodology, and therefore we currently cannot report on changes over time..

The estimates of children in families with limited resources are based on data from the Scottish Household Survey. The questions were asked of a third of the sample of survey respondents between 2014 and 2017, and so results had to be combined over several years to get a sufficiently large sample to allow analysis by local authority area. From 2018, these questions have been asked of the full sample, which will allow development of a consistent time series going forward.

The limited resources measure looks at children in families that have both low income and cannot afford three or more out of a list of 22 basic necessities. The list of necessities was developed for a Scottish context: this is based on what stakeholders and the public consider a basic necessity and what satisfies statistical requirements for a robust measure of limited resources. Families are defined as being on a low income if the household income is below 70% of the Scottish median (middle) income after housing costs.

The limited resources local measure is not strictly comparable to the official national-level statistics on 'children in combined low income and material deprivation', which will be published later in the year. These statistics provide the national headline figure which informs one of the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017 targets. The national headline figure is based on data from the Family Resources Survey which does not allow local breakdowns due to sample size. The underlying methodology for these two measures is also different in that the local limited resources measure uses a different way of assessing the necessities a household cannot afford, and therefore identifies a somewhat broader group which can be considered to have limited access to resources.

The statistics are released as web tables available at:

https://www2.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Social-Welfare/IncomePoverty/LAPovertyData

These statistics are published as experimental statistics. This means that the data and methodology are being further developed for future updates.

Further information on income and poverty statistics within Scotland can be accessed at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Social-Welfare
Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be assessed at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/About.