Scottish cities

Child poverty in Scottish Cities

Child Pov Scot cities trend

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By this measure, around 28% of children in Glasgow were living in poverty in 2018/19. This is the highest rate among Scotland’s major cities; for example, almost twice the rate in Aberdeen and over twice that of Edinburgh. Although child poverty has fallen slightly in each of the Scottish cities between 2017/18 and 2018/19, the five year trend shows that it has been rising. In Glasgow, it was 6.4 percentage points higher in 2018/19 than it was in 2014/15.  


The data for this graph come from End Child Poverty. Households are defined as living in poverty if their income is less than 60% of the UK median income. The methods of estimation have recently been updated, further detail can be found on the website.

These figures refer to children from ages 0-16 and to families living in poverty before housing costs are taken into account. The rates for all children and including housing costs would be higher, but this measure still allows us to compare the different cities.

Other measures of child povertyLimited Resources Cities 15 17

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Poverty statistics often only include households with incomes below a poverty threshold (usually 60% of middle incomes). Recently the Scottish Government has published figures that consider other resources as well as income.

These measures are based on experimental statistics. These new experimental measures take into account resources as well as income. The measures report on children in families that cannot afford basic necessities (they live in material deprivation) as well as having a low income (70% of middle incomes).

This produces a slightly different picture of child poverty across the Scottish cities, though figures are still highest in Glasgow, at 43%. There may be some degree of measurement uncertainty, more information on this can be found on page 7 of the Scottish Government report.