What you need to know
Statistics in this report are taken from the Family Resources Survey. This survey is the main source of information on household income and poverty in Scotland. Users include the Scottish Government, local authorities, academia, journalists and the voluntary sector.
Income and poverty measures
In this publication, unless otherwise stated, statistics are based on net income. That is, income after taxes and including social security payments. All incomes are in 2016/17 prices (real prices). All figures in this publication are rounded to the nearest pound or whole percentage point. Poverty is measured at the household level. If the household income is below the poverty threshold, all people within the household are in poverty.
The estimates presented in this publication are based on a sample survey and are therefore subject to sampling error. Annual changes in the numbers and percentages of people in poverty presented in the body of this report are not statistically significant. In time series, looking at longer term trends offers a better indicator of significant change.
In this year’s update, the data is presented for the first time as three-year rolling averages of each estimate. Rolling updates compare the most recent three financial years to the previous three financial years. For example, the latest estimates (2014-17) are an average of the single-year estimates in the financial years 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17, and the previous estimates are an average of the single-year estimates in the financial years 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16. This means, that the latest estimate and the previous estimate are based on two years’ worth of the same data.
This change ensures the statistics are usable and understandable, and that they are comparable with poverty and income statistics reported by the Department for Work and Pensions. Single-year estimates are still available in the associated tables. Single-year estimates are best used for understanding the current situation, whereas trends over time are better identified using three-year estimates.