Experimental statistics on 'Children in families with limited resources Scotland 2017-2019' 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.
Nearly a fifth (17%) of children in the sample were in families with combined low income and material deprivation after housing costs.
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 (38%), households with disabled adults (28%), or three or more children (23%).
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 (35%), or in rented accommodation (37%).
There was a clear gradient in relation to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation, with children in the most deprived areas much more likely to live in families with limited resources than those from the least deprived areas: 34% in the 20% most deprived areas, falling to 4% in the 20% least deprived areas. Children living in remote rural areas were also less likely to have limited resources (12%).
Children were more likely to live in families with limited resources in West Dunbartonshire and Dundee City (30%), Glasgow City (25%), Midlothian and North Lanarkshire (24%) compared to Scotland as a whole. Children were less likely to live in families with limited resources in City of Edinburgh (10%), Aberdeenshire (9%), East Dunbartonshire and Orkney (8%), and East Renfrewshire (7%).
These statistics update the previously published experimental statistics 'children in families with limited resources across Scotland 2014-2017' (released in February 2019). The most recent estimates are being released as web tables.
These statistics are published as experimental statistics. This means that the data and methodology are being further developed for future updates.
Data for three years have been combined for this release to achieve a robust sample size for local breakdowns. Please note that due to changes in the way questions have been asked for 2018 and 2019 and the need to combine data over several years, the figures in the new release may not allow direct comparisons to assess changes over time. Further analysis will be conducted to assess comparability over time.
The estimates of children in families with limited resources are based on data from the Scottish Household Survey and released as experimental statistics (data under development). The latest estimates are from the period before the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, these statistics do not yet tell us anything about the impact of the pandemic on family resource levels, but other data sources suggest that levels of poverty are likely to have risen during the pandemic.
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 were published in March 2021. The official 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.
Further information on income and poverty statistics within Scotland is available.
Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland is available.