Child poverty in Scottish Cities

childpovertytrend scotcities 2017

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Child poverty rose slightly in Glasgow from 2013 to 2017. Overall, levels of child poverty have been higher in Glasgow than any other Scottish city since 2013. Although child poverty has stayed relatively steady in Dundee and Edinburgh, it has fallen slightly in Aberdeen.

Child poverty in Glasgow and Clyde Valley

childpov trend clydevalley 2017Click on graph to expand

Child poverty has been highest in Glasgow City since 2013 among local authorities in the Clyde Valley. While some areas saw a rise from 2013 to 2015, and a slight fall from 2015 to 2017 (Inverclyde, West Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire and South Lanarkshire), others have continued to rise since 2013 (North Lanarkshire, East Renfrewshire and East Dunbartonshire). 

Child poverty in UK cities

childpov trend UK 2017

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Child poverty rose in Birmingham and Manchester in both 2015 and 2017, while other cities that saw rises from 2013 to 2015, saw a fall in 2017 (Leeds, Newcastle and Nottingham).

The data for this graph come from End Child Poverty’s Child Poverty map of the UK.

Other measures of trends in child poverty 

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has used Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) data to show child poverty over time in Scotland compared to England and Wales (see figure 1 below). These estimates are based on households with income, after taxes, of less than 60% of the UK median income for that year.  This measure can be calculated either before housing costs are deducted from income (BHC), or after their deduction (AHC). The latter measure is preferred, as housing is an essential, unavoidable cost. Moreover, the BHC measure includes housing benefits, which are not disposable income – they must be paid to landlords, whether private or social.

Over the last decade, child poverty in Scotland has fallen on both BHC and AHC measures. The AHC child poverty rate in Scotland is now, at 21%, seven percentage points lower than the rest of Great Britain. A decade ago, the rate in Scotland was one percentage point higher. This difference is mainly due to the high and rising cost of housing in England and Wales, and particularly the south of England.

However, there are huge variations in child poverty within countries.  Estimates of child poverty at a variety of English regional, local authority and small area levels are available from HMRC from 2006 onwards.  Data for Scotland are currently only available for 2009 and 2010.

Figure 1 is taken from Monitoring poverty and Social Exclusion in Scotland 2013 published in 2013 by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.  Reproduced by permission of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

MPSE Scot fig1 HiResClick on graph to expand

A new 2014 report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation discusses the differences in child poverty over time between Scotland and England.  This report uses the 'Before housing costs' (BHC) measure, which shows a higher child poverty rate in Scotland, due to the higher housing costs in England.