Poverty is a complex and dynamic phenomenon that can be defined in many different ways. However, most definitions would mention the contribution of a range of inter-related elements such as low income, unemployment, lack of opportunity, social exclusion and deprivation - both relative and absolute.

Click on our infographic to see the key facts from this indicator set. Poverty infographic - if you require an accessible version or transcript, please email info@gcph.co.uk

Glasgow remains the most deprived city and local authority area in Scotland. The following summary provides some specific statistics for Glasgow:

  • Almost half of Glasgow’s residents - 286,000 people - reside in the 20% of most deprived areas in Scotland. In contrast, just 20,600 people (3.5% of the population) live in the 10% of least deprived areas in Scotland (based on 2012 population estimates)
  • The proportion of Glaswegians with access to a bank or building society account has risen in the last decade, but Glasgow is still below the national average (88% in Glasgow in 2012 versus 95% in Scotland)
  • A lower proportion of Glaswegians are coping financially (78% in 2012) compared to Scots as a whole (88%)
  • 33% of all children in the city (over 36,000 children) were estimated to be living in poverty in 2012
  • The distribution of child poverty and vulnerability to child poverty varies dramatically across Glasgow - over 55% of children in some neighbourhoods live in child poverty compared to less than 10% in other parts of the city
  • In 2012, 22% of children lived in workless households, 8% higher than the Scottish average
  • In 2013, 19% of households in Glasgow had a net annual income of less than £10,000, the highest rate of any local authority in Scotland 

(Data from various sources:- the Scottish Household Survey, SIMD, the Annual Population Survey, the Child Poverty map of the UK 2013, End Child Poverty and HM Revenue & Customs)

Levels of poverty in Glasgow are likely to change as the full effects of the global financial crisis and subsequent recession impact on the city.  It is likely that the current Welfare Reforms will impact on the proportion of people in poverty. 

The Scottish Government published their latest report on poverty and income inequality in Scotland  in July 2014.   The key findings for Scotland were:

  • a sharp rise in the number of individuals living in relative poverty in 2012/13 - up to 820,000;
  • rises in the percentage of children in relative poverty (up from 15% in 2011/12 to 19% in 2012/13)
  • rises in working age people and pensioners in poverty, 15% of adults in each are now defined as living in relative poverty 
  • 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

In this section a range of summary indicators are used to illustrate poverty in Glasgow, including access to a bank account, child poverty, and relative deprivation.  The children's indicators section of Understanding Glasgow contains more detailed information on child poverty within Glasgow.

Links to a selection of recent reports relating to poverty are available on the poverty resources page.

Additional Resources

  • Resource
    Wednesday, 2 June 2010

    SIMD Analysis: Future Projections

    An analysis of the reasons behind the recent decline of deprivation in Glasgow, with tend projections towards 2015.
  • Resource
    Sunday, 1 November 2009

    Miniature Glasgow - Video

    An extension of the GCPH's work profiling Glasgow's health, produced in collaboration with the International Future Forum.
View more Resources »