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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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Working-age adults in poverty

Chart 7. Relative poverty rate for working-age adults stable

Proportion of working-age adults in relative poverty

Relative poverty for working-age adults has been broadly stable since reporting began. Relative poverty in 2015-18 was estimated to be 20% after housing costs, and 16% before housing costs.

In 2015-18, there were 640,000 working-age adults in poverty after housing costs, compared to 520,000 before housing costs.

Working-age adults are defined as all adults up to the state pension age. Prior to April 2010, women reached the state pension age at 60. Between 2010 and November 2018, the state pension age for women increased to 65, the same as for men.

Chart 8. Absolute poverty rate for working-age adults stable

Proportion of working-age adults in absolute poverty

Absolute poverty amongst working-age adults remained broadly stable during the last ten years. In 2015-18, 18% of working-age adults were in absolute poverty after housing costs, and 14% before housing costs.

This means that in 2015-18, there were 590,000 working-age adults each year in absolute poverty after housing costs, compared to 460,000 before housing costs.

Working-age adults are considered to be in poverty when they live in a household which is in poverty.

Chart 9. In-work poverty for working-age adults rising

Proportion of working-age adults in poverty in working households

In 2015-18, 60% of working-age adults in relative poverty after housing costs as well as before housing costs were living in working households. This represents 390,000 working-age adults in in-work poverty after housing costs, and 310,000 working-age adults before housing costs.

In-work poverty for working-age adults continuously increased since 2011-14, and since reporting began, both before and after housing costs measures were at an all time high in 2015-18.

The terms ‘working’ and ‘in-work poverty’ here refer to paid employment only. In-work poverty refers to people living in households where at least one member of the household is in either full or part-time paid work, but where the household income is below the relative poverty threshold.

Contact

Email: social-justice-analysis@gov.scot

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