Publication - Statistics

Poverty and income inequality in Scotland: 2015-2018

Published: 28 Mar 2019

Estimates of the number and proportion of people living in poverty in Scotland in 2015-2018.

Contents
Poverty and income inequality in Scotland: 2015-2018
Poverty: All individuals

Poverty: All individuals

Chart 1. Relative poverty rate for all individuals continues to rise

Proportion of people in relative poverty

It is estimated that 20% of Scotland’s population (1.03 million people each year) were living in relative poverty after housing costs in 2015-18. This compares to 19% (1.00 million people) in the previous period. Before housing costs, 17% of Scotland’s population (900,000 people) were living in poverty in 2015-18, compared to 16% in the previous period.

Relative poverty is a measure of whether the income of the poorest households are keeping pace with middle income households across the UK.

The number of people in relative poverty after housing costs in Scotland had been falling since the late nineties, but data of recent years shows a continuous increase since 2009-12. Before housing costs, relative poverty numbers have been rising since the all-time low in 2011-14.

Chart 2. Absolute poverty rate for all individuals stable

Proportion of people in absolute poverty

It is estimated that 18% of Scotland’s population (930,000 people each year) were living in absolute poverty after housing costs in 2015-18. This compares to 17% (910,000 people) in the previous period. After a long decline since the beginning of this time series in the mid-nineties, absolute poverty rates have stagnated since 2006-09.

Before housing costs, 15% of Scotland’s population (780,000 people each year) were in absolute poverty. The trend is similar to the after housing costs measure, although the downward trend started to stagnate a few years later.

The gap between the before and after housing costs measure had widened in recent years, but remained steady in 2015-18.

Absolute poverty is a measure of whether the incomes of the poorest households are keeping pace with inflation, and is based on the poverty threshold in 2010/11.


Contact

Email: social-justice-analysis@gov.scot