Poverty and Income Inequality in Scotland 2015-18

Estimates of the number and proportion of people living in poverty in Scotland in 2015-18.

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What you need to know about this publication

Statistics in this report are based on data from the Family Resources Survey. This survey is the main source of information on household income and poverty in Scotland.

Income and poverty measures

The Scottish Government uses a range of indicators to measure different aspects of poverty. The most commonly used poverty indicator in Scotland is relative poverty after housing costs. It is complemented in this publication by measures of absolute poverty and material deprivation.

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 2017/18 prices (real prices). Figures in this publication are rounded to the nearest pound (weekly incomes), a hundred pound (annual incomes), percentage point or 10,000 people. Poverty is measured at the household level. If the household income is below the poverty threshold, all people within the household are considered to be in poverty.

Survey data

The estimates presented in this publication are based on a sample survey and are therefore subject to sampling error. Any year-on-year 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 indication of significant change.

Three-year averages

Data is presented as three-year rolling (overlapping) averages of each estimate. For example, the latest estimates (2015-18) are an average of the single-year estimates in the financial years 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18, and the previous estimates are an average of the single-year estimates in the financial years 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17.

Using three-year averages 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. Three-year averages are best used when focusing on trends over time, as in this publication. When focusing on a particular year, the single-year estimate is best used. Single-year estimates are available in the associated tables.


Email: social-justice-analysis@gov.scot

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