Chapter 1: Persistent poverty in Scotland
The statistics presented below are subject to a degree of error. This means that implied changes over the years and between countries may not be significant and instead be within a given error range. More information can be found in the Background Notes and Methodology section.
Persistent poverty is when an individual has been in poverty for three or more of the last four years. We measure it because we know that the impact of poverty on health and well-being is cumulative - the longer someone is in poverty, the more it impacts on their overall life chances.
Chart 1: Persistent poverty in Scotland BHC by population group
Chart 2: Persistent poverty in Scotland AHC by population group
1.1 People in persistent poverty
Between 2011 and 2015, 8 per cent of people in Scotland were in persistent poverty before housing costs. This compares to 9 per cent in 2010 to 2014.
After housing costs 9 per cent of people in Scotland were in persistent poverty in 2011 to 2015, the same as in the previous period.
1.2 Children in persistent poverty
Persistent poverty rates were higher for children.
Before housing costs, 10 per cent of children in Scotland had been in persistent poverty between 2011 and 2015, compared to 12 per cent in the previous period.
After housing costs, in 2011 to 2015 12 per cent of children were in persistent poverty, the same as in 2010 to 2014.
1.3 Working Age Adults in persistent poverty
Between 2011 and 2015, 7 per cent of working age adults in Scotland were in persistent poverty before housing costs, the same as in 2010 to 2014.
After housing costs persistent poverty rates were higher than before housing costs. Nine per cent of working age adults in Scotland were in persistent poverty in 2011 to 2015, the same as in the previous period.
1.4 Pensioners in persistent poverty
11 per cent of pensioners in Scotland were in persistent poverty before housing costs in 2011 to 2015. This compares to 10 per cent in 2010 to 2014.
After housing costs 7 per cent of pensioners were in persistent poverty in 2011 to 2015, compared to 6 per cent in 2010 to 2014.
For most groups of the population the persistent poverty rate after housing costs is greater than that before housing costs. The opposite is true for pensioners. The majority of pensioners own their own home and so have lower housing costs. Examining pensioners' incomes after deducting housing costs allows for more meaningful comparisons of income between working age people and pensioners, and of the pensioner population over time.
Email: Andrew White