Persistent poverty in Scotland

Category: Child poverty

3rd April 2017

New experimental statistics have been published today showing the proportion of people living in persistent poverty in Scotland between 2010 and 2015.

New experimental statistics have been published showing the proportion of people living in persistent poverty in Scotland between 2010 and 2015. The persistent poverty figures show the number of individuals living in poverty for 3 or more of the last 4 years.

After housing costs 9 per cent of all people in Scotland, and 12 per cent of children were in persistent poverty in 2011 to 2015.

All individuals:

  • Between 2011 and 2015, 8 per cent of people in Scotland were in persistent poverty before housing costs.
  • After housing costs 9 per cent of people in Scotland were in persistent poverty in 2011 to 2015.

Children:

  • Before housing costs, 10 per cent of children in Scotland had been in persistent poverty between 2011 and 2015.
  • After housing costs, in 2011 to 2015 12 per cent of children were in persistent poverty.

Scotland compared to other UK countries:

  • Scotland generally had lower persistent poverty rates when compared with England, Northern Ireland and Wales, especially after housing costs.
  • Before housing costs the Scottish persistent poverty rate for all individuals in 2010 - 2015 (8 per cent) was slightly lower than in England (9 per cent), Northern Ireland (11 per cent) and Wales (10 per cent).
  • After housing costs the difference was greater with the Scottish persistent poverty rate (9 per cent) below that of England (12 per cent), Northern Ireland (12 per cent) and Wales (12 per cent).
  • Read more here.

 

Together's State of Children's Rights 2016 report analysis

Living in poverty can impact almost all areas of a child's life as families living in poverty have less money to spend on food, heating and energy, and housing. Children living in low income households are much more likely to have a standard of living below that which most people deem an acceptable level; one in eight children living in poverty in Scotland are materially deprived. Poverty also affects children's social and emotional wellbeing. Relationships with friends and family members are affected as children who have experienced poverty are more likely to be solitary and play alone, four times more likely to fight with or bully other children, and less likely to talk to someone at home about their worries. Poverty is the cause of inequalities in children's early development as well as their educational attainment.

Research suggests that the majority of young people in Scotland believe that families are in poverty due to causes that they cannot control, such as unstable income and the rising cost of living. They also identified other factors such as someone in the family having a disability. This echoes concerns from Together's members that those families with a disabled adult are disproportionately affected by poverty, with one in three children with a disabled parent living below the poverty line compared to 24% of children who live in a family where no one has a disability. Children with disabilities are also more likely to experience poverty and evidence suggests that 31% of families with disabled children are going without essentials such as food, which is a significant increase from previous years. The reasons for this are wide-ranging but include additional transport and childcare costs, parents being unable to work because of caring responsibilities, and benefit changes resulting in lower incomes for families. Lone parent families are also at a significantly higher risk of poverty in Scotland and across the UK.

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