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13/06/13 09:39

Poverty and income inequality in Scotland: 2011/12

A national statistics publication for Scotland

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today published Poverty and income inequality in Scotland 2011/12. 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.

Key figures

  • In 2011/12, 710 thousand individuals were living in relative poverty (before housing costs) in Scotland. This represents 14 per cent of the population, down from 15 per cent in 2010/11. This change is not statistically significant.
  • The percentage of children living in relative poverty fell from 17 per cent to 15 per cent between 2010/11 and 2011/12, this represents a reduction of 20 thousand children to 150 thousand children. This change is not statistically significant. This continues the decrease in the rate of relative child poverty in Scotland, with a decrease from 20 per cent in 2009/10 to 15 per cent in 2011/12.
  • The percentage of children living in combined material deprivation and low income fell from 12 per cent to 8 per cent in 2011/12. This represents a reduction of 40 thousand children, to 80 thousand children. This change is statistically significant.
  • The percentage of working age adults living in relative poverty fell in 2011/12 from 14 per cent to 13 per cent, which represents a reduction of 20 thousand, to 420 thousand adults. This change is not statistically significant.
  • 140 thousand pensioners were living in relative poverty in 2011/12. This is a reduction from 16 per cent to 15 per cent between 2010/11 and 2011/12. This change is not statistically significant.
  • In terms of income inequality, the proportion of income received by the lowest 3 income deciles remained at 14 per cent between 2010/11 and 2011/12. This proportion has remained at between 13 and 14 per cent since 1998/99.
  • The equivalised median income fell in real terms from £437 to £436 in Scotland between 2010/11 and 2011/12.
  • Individual incomes fell slightly in real terms in 2011/12, as did benefit and tax credit income. Real incomes for households at the bottom end of the income distribution fell by roughly the same rate as real incomes for households at the median. Incomes across the distribution grew by less than RPI inflation. Prior to 2010/11, average income had increased for most years since 1994/95.
  • Various benefit reforms were introduced in 2011/12 that had different effects on different benefit recipients but overall resulted in a real terms fall in benefit income.
  • No statistically significant changes were observed between 2010/11 and 2011/12 to the absolute poverty levels.
Notes to editors

NOTES FOR NEWS EDITORS

1. The full statistical publication can be accessed at:
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/stats/bulletins/01048

 

2

Figures presented here are from the Department for Work and Pensions’ Family Resources Survey, Households Below Average Income dataset. Comparable UK income and poverty figures are published on the same day by DWP. See the DWP website for further details.
http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?page=hbai

3Further information on income and poverty statistics within Scotland can be accessed at:
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Social-Welfare/IncomePoverty4Relative poverty (before housing costs) is the most commonly used poverty indicator by the UK and Scottish Governments. See publication for explanation of how this, and the other common indicators, are defined.

5. The 2011/12 publication includes changes to the methodology
compared with previous publications.
* The publication presents a change in reference year for absolute low income.
* The publication presents a break in the child material deprivation series.
* The publication incorporates the inceases in the qualifying age for women to receive the state pension.

See publication for explanation of these changes.

6. Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at:
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/About

Contact: Nicola Macnaughton: 0131 244 2670