Child Poverty

The detrimental effects of child poverty are a major cause for concern and have wide-ranging effects in terms of health, social and economic outcomes.  Children living in the poorest neighbourhoods can expect to live 14 years less than those in wealthier areas. Poverty also has a negative impact on physical and mental health and educational and social development. This becomes a vicious circle, where poor physical and mental health and low educational achievement increase the risk of lower earning capacity and of continued poverty throughout life. 

The indicators gathered here confirm that large numbers of Glaswegian children are living in poverty and that a greater proportion of its child population are at risk of poverty than in other cities and areas in Scotland. 

This section provides estimates of the number of children living in poverty, as well as measures that indicate a risk of being in poverty.  The latter include risk factors for severe child poverty identified by Save the Children (Severe Child Poverty: An Update) including: children living in workless households; children in lone parent households; children living in a family with a disabled adult; and children with young parents aged under 25 years. Additional data are presented for children in households in financial difficulties

See below for the key facts from this indicator set.  Child Poverty update 2019

  • Over 34% of children in Glasgow were estimated to be living in poverty in 2017 
  • In comparison to surrounding local authorities, Glasgow has a higher proportion of children living in poverty, 34% compared to 15% of children in East Dunbartonshire and 16% in East Renfrewshire. 
  • Glasgow’s figure (34%) is higher than in Dundee (28%), Edinburgh (22%) and Aberdeen (17%). 
  • The distribution of child poverty and children living in low income families varies dramatically across Glasgow - 41% of children in some neighbourhoods live in low income families compared to around 7% in other parts of the city.
  • In 2015, over a fifth of children lived in families with financial difficulties, the fourth highest rate of any local authority in Scotland.
  • In-work poverty in Scotland has been rising. 70% of children enduring poverty come from a household where at least one adult is in work (2015/16).

(Data from various sources: The child poverty map of the UK 2018, End Child Poverty, ONS, Scottish Household Survey, Scottish Government)

There is currently no official measure of severe child poverty.  

Please note that information on eligibility for free school meals, which is sometimes used as a proxy for poverty, is available under children's education.

Targets and strategies in relation to the child poverty, and poverty in general, are summarised, and other sources of poverty information are highlighted, in a resources section.  A set of notes on the data used in this section is provided.  Trends and patterns in poverty affecting the overall population in Glasgow are described within the poverty domain of the main set of Glasgow indicators.