Poverty and Income Inequality in Scotland 2015/16

Estimate of the number and proportion of people living in poverty in Scotland in the financial year 2015/16.

Poverty in 2015/16

This publication presents annual estimates of the percentage and number of people, children, working age adults and pensioners living in low income households in Scotland. The estimates are used to monitor progress in reducing poverty and income inequality. The data published for the first time here are for the financial year April 2015 to March 2016.

Poverty rates have been relatively stable over the last decade with some fluctuations year on year. Most rates have risen in 2015/16 and, while single year changes must be interpreted with caution, this alongside other indicators suggests low income households - especially families with children - are falling further behind those on middle incomes.

Although more lower income households are now in employment this is not guarding them against poverty. In-work poverty has shown a long term rising trend since 2009/10. This is explained by changes in the employment market with many low income households working part-time. For working families who also receive benefit income, especially families with children, increases in earnings were balanced against withdrawal of benefit income, combined with a one per cent cap on benefit up-rating.

The combined low income and material deprivation rate for children has remained steady. Despite the indicative upward push on relative and absolute child poverty rates there has been no change in the ability of low income households with children to afford necessities. This may relate to the longer term reduction in the number of workless households. Although many of these households have moved in to part time employment this still provides better protection from material deprivation than being out of work.


Email: Andrew White

Back to top