Children in families with limited resources across Scotland 2014-2016

New estimates of the proportion of children in combined low income and material deprivation by council area and household characteristics.


Some children in Scotland live in families that have limited resources.

Poverty statistics often only include households with incomes below a poverty threshold (usually 60% of middle incomes). But here, we consider other resources as well as income: we report on children in families that cannot afford basic necessities (they live in material deprivation) as well as having a low income (70% of middle incomes).

How families experience limited resources differs. Some parents have a low income, and yet for the most part they have the basic necessities they need to get by. Maybe relatives and friends help out, maybe they are drawing on their savings. Other parents cannot afford many basic goods and services, even though their income is a bit higher. Maybe they have to pay off debt, maybe they have only recently started their new job after a period of unemployment.

Between 2014 - 2016, we asked 2,424 families with children across Scotland about their income, and what basic necessities they couldn't afford. From their responses, we estimated how many children lived in families with limited resources, where in Scotland these families lived, and how they were made up.

We also included some quotes that the Child Poverty Action Group collected from families they work with. These illustrate the barriers and worries families face as they try to provide for their children.

"It's worse at October week and Christmas when it's cold and I have to put more money in my gas to heat my house. When the kids are in school I don't use my heating and I save it for them coming home to a warm house and getting up with heat in the mornings"


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