Poverty and Income Inequality in Scotland: 2012/13

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Key points:

  • 16 per cent of individuals in Scotland were living in relative poverty in 2012/13, an increase from 14 per cent the previous year. In 2012/13, there were 820 thousand individuals in Scotland living in relative poverty, 110 thousand more than in 2011/12.
  • 19 per cent of children in Scotland were living in relative poverty in 2012/13, an increase from 15 per cent the previous year. In 2012/13, there were 180 thousand children in Scotland living in relative poverty, 30 thousand more than in 2011/12.
  • 15 per cent of working age adults in Scotland were living in relative poverty in 2012/13, an increase from 13 per cent the previous year. In 2012/13, there were 480 thousand working age adults in Scotland living in relative poverty, 70 thousand more than in 2011/12.
  • 15 per cent of pensioners in Scotland were living in relative poverty in 2012/13, an increase from 14 per cent the previous year. In 2012/13, there were 150 thousand pensioners in Scotland living in relative poverty, 10 thousand more than in 2011/12.
  • In terms of income inequality, the percentage of income received by the lowest 3 income deciles in 2012/13 was 14 per cent, unchanged from 2011/12.
  • Median income in Scotland in 2012/13 was £23,000, equivalent to £440 per week. This is the third consecutive annual fall in median income in Scotland.
  • The proportion of people in poverty who live in working households increased in 2012/13. In 2012/13, 52 per cent of working age adults in poverty were living in households where at least one adult was in employment, as were 59 per cent of children in poverty.

Please Note:

In this publication, all statistics are based on net income. That is, income after taxes and including benefits. Income is calculated at the household level, and reflects the income available to the household after taxes are paid and all benefits and tax credits have been received. Unless otherwise stated, incomes for previous years are in 2012/13 prices (real prices).

All figures in this publication are rounded to the nearest 10 thousand individuals or whole percentage point. In some cases calculations based on the unrounded figures do not match those based on the rounded ones.

The estimates presented in this publication are based on a sample survey and are therefore subject to sampling error. Confidence intervals are a measure of sampling error. A 95 per cent confidence interval for an estimate is the range that contains the 'true' figure on average 19 times out of 20 if sampling error were the only source of errors. Many of the changes referred to in this publication are within the width of the confidence limits and caution should be exercised when looking at year on year comparisons, with longer term trends often giving a clearer picture. More information can be found here:

Scottish Government - Income and Poverty Statistics - Methodology

Presentation of key points and definitions

Each section starts with a blue box providing the key facts for that section. Where relevant, important definitions are provided in a green box at the end of each section.