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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Religion and poverty

Chart 16. Relative poverty rates higher for Muslims

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

In 2013-18, Muslim adults were more likely to be in relative poverty (41%, 20,000 adults) than adults overall (18%) after housing costs were taken into account.

Adults belonging to the Church of Scotland had a slightly lower poverty rate (14%, 180,000 adults) than Roman Catholic adults (20%, 120,000 adults) or adults of other Christian denominations (18%, 60,000 adults).

This analysis doesn’t take into account differences in the age profiles of the religions. For adults belonging to the Church of Scotland, the median average age was 60. In contrast, the median age was 33 for Muslim adults, and 40 for adults belonging to no religion.

People in older age bands overall have a lower poverty rate, so age profile partly explains the lower poverty rate for people belonging to the Church of Scotland. However, this lack of age standardisation doesn’t explain the entire gap in poverty rates between Muslims and the overall population.

Data on religion is available for adults only, so this chart doesn’t include children in a household.

Before housing costs data is available in the associated tables.

More information on religion data

The above chart shows an average for data from the past five financial years.

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


Email: social-justice-analysis@gov.scot

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