This publication presents annual estimates of the proportion and number of children, working age adults and pensioners living in low income households in Scotland, and the distribution of household income across Scotland. The estimates are used to monitor progress towards UK and Scottish Government targets to reduce poverty and income inequality. The data published for the first time here are for the financial year April 2010 to March 2011. The latest figures cover a period where the Scottish economy and wider UK economy were both showing little GDP growth and average earnings fell in real terms. These figures precede the impact of changes to benefits resulting from welfare reform.
In 2010/11, there were 780 thousand individuals living in relative poverty in Scotland. Relative poverty has shown a statistically significant drop from 2009/10, with the number of individuals living in poverty falling from 17 per cent to 15 per cent between 2009/10 and 2010/11. This follows a 5 year period of little change in poverty levels.
The percentage of children living in relative poverty fell from 20 per cent to 17 per cent between 2009/10 and 2010/11, this represents a reduction of 20 thousand children to 170 thousand children. This change is not statistically significant.
The percentage of working age adults living in relative poverty fell in 2010/11 from 16 per cent to 14 per cent, which represents a reduction of 70 thousand, to 440 thousand adults. This change is statistically significant.
160 thousand pensioners were living in relative poverty in 2010/11. This is a reduction from 17 per cent to 16 per cent between 2009/10 and 2010/11. This change is not statistically significant.
In terms of income inequality, the proportion of income received by the lowest 3 income deciles increased from 13 per cent to 14 per cent between 2009/10 and 2010/11. This proportion has remained at between 13 and 14 per cent since 1998/99.
The equivalised median income fell in real terms from £439 to £416 in Scotland between 2009/10 and 2010/11
No statistically significant changes were observed between 2009/10 and 2010/11 to the absolute poverty levels.
The figures above are based on income ‘before housing costs’ (BHC); changes in income ‘after housing costs’ (AHC) are given later in the publication.
All figures in this publication are rounded to the nearest 10,000 individuals or whole percentage point. In some cases calculations based on the unrounded figures do not match those based on the rounded ones.