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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Ethnicity and poverty

Chart 15. Relative poverty rates higher for ethnic minorities

Proportion of people in relative poverty after housing costs, 2013-18

Before housing costs data is available in the associated tables.

In 2013-18, people from minority ethnic (non-white) groups are more likely to be in relative poverty after housing costs compared to those from the 'White - British' group.

The poverty rate was 38% (30,000 people each year) for ‘Mixed, Black or Black British and Other’ ethnic groups, and 34% (40,000 people) for the ‘Asian or Asian British’ ethnic group.

The poverty rate amongst the ‘White – Other’ group (26%, 70,000 people) was higher than that of the ‘White – British’ group (18%, 850,000 people).

Ethnicity data relates to all people in a household and is based on the ethnicity of the adult with the highest income.

This analysis doesn’t take into account differences in the age profiles of the ethnic groups. For the ‘White – British’ ethnic group the median average age of the highest income earner was 49 compared with a median age of 36 for the ‘White – Other’ ethnic group and 39 for 'Asian or Asian British' and 'Mixed, Black, Black British or Other' ethnic groups.

People in older age bands overall have a lower poverty rate, so the age profile partly explains the lower poverty rate for the ‘White – British’ ethnic group. However, this lack of age standardisation is unlikely to explain the entire gap in poverty rates between ethnic groups.

More information on ethnicity data

The above chart shows an ethnicity breakdown based on an average of data from the past five financial years. This provides a reasonably detailed breakdown, whilst still using relatively recent data. A more detailed ethnicity breakdown using ten years of data was previously published: www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Social-Welfare/IncomePoverty/povertytable

Due to the small sample sizes for some of the ethnic groups, the measurement uncertainty will be fairly large. A time series hasn’t been produced for poverty rates by ethnicity as this uncertainty in the data will obscure any long-term trends.


Email: social-justice-analysis@gov.scot

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