Tackling child poverty priority families overview

An overview of evidence on the six priority family types identified as being at higher risk of child poverty. Slide deck can be found in the supporting documents.

Minority ethnic families

Key demographics

Minority ethnic adults make up 12% of the adult population (7% white minority, 5% visible minority).

The average age of ethnic minorities (excluding white minorities) is younger than the average age of the white population (27 and 42 years old).

Families from some minority ethnic groups are more likely to have three or more children.

Income from employment

While minority ethnic school leavers tend to outperform other pupils, this does not translate into better work outcomes.

Can face discrimination when applying for a new job or promotions, and women may face additional barriers in accessing and navigating quality employment.

More likely to work irregular hours so accessing suitable childcare can be a challenge.

Tend to be paid less per hour, and more likely to be underemployed.

Costs of living

More likely to try to increase income through paid employment – seeking more hours or an additional job – to address rising living costs.

13% of minority ethnic households with children in the UK are in unmanageable debt, compared to 9% for all households with children.

Minority ethnic households with children in Scotland are overrepresented in the private rented sector and spend a higher proportion of their income on housing costs than other families.

Income from social security

Generally, minority ethnic families are less reliant on income through social security. Though reliance on benefit income varies widely by ethnic group.

Asian Pakistani and Bangladeshi families have the highest reliance on benefit income of all ethnic groups.

Asian Indian and Chinese households have a lower reliance on benefits than white households.

Take-up of benefits may be an issue, but there is a lack of evidence.

What works

Addressing racial discrimination and harassment, including micro aggressions. All policies need to actively address discrimination, stigma, structural and cultural racism.

Maximising take up of social security benefits, addressing the gender pay gap and targeted support for affordable housing.


Email: social-justice-analysis@gov.scot
Twitter: @EqualityPoverty
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