Child Poverty Priority Groups

As part of plans to reduce child poverty, the Scottish Government has set out 6 priority groups. These households are at greater risk of child poverty for a variety of reasons and plans to reduce child poverty must consider how they will impact each group. This section of the website includes data on each of the groups, although comprehensive and comparable data is not available for all groups.

It is also important to note that these are not distinct categories and many families will be in two or more of these high-risk groups. The groups are: families with a child under 1 year old (families with young children); families with a mother under the age of 25 (young mothers); families which include a disabled person (disabled households); families which include a person from an ethnic minority (ethnic minority households); lone parents; and families with more than three children (large families).

Rel child poverty Scot trends

This chart shows the trends in relative child poverty for each of the priority groups. There is no trend data available for ethnic minority families, because the way that those figures are calculated has changed recently. The green diamond represents the latest figure available for the rate of relative child poverty within ethnic minority families, which covers 2017-2020, and was at 38%.

The group with the highest levels of child porverty between 2011-2014 and 2015-2018 was mothers under 25 years of age (young mothers). More recent estimates are not available for this group. The groups with the highest child poverty rates for whom estimates were available in the most recent period (2017-2020) were ethnic minority families and lone parent families (both 38%). The lowest rate in that period for any of the priority groups was for disabled households, at 29%. This is 5% higher than the average child poverty rate for all families, of 24%. For families who are not in any of the priority groups, relative poverty rates have remained around 10% throughout this time period.


These data come from Scottish Government statistics. They were not updated in 2022, as data collection for the survey that they rely upon was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. More details of this are available on the Scottish Government website. These pages will be updated when figures are next released.