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 (47%) of Glasgow’s residents, 292,000 people, reside in the 20% of most deprived areas in Scotland. In contrast, nearly 27,000 people (4.4% of the population) live in the 10% of least deprived areas in Scotland (based on 2017 population estimates).
  • The proportion of Glaswegians with access to a bank or building society account has risen in the last decade - to 91% in 2015 - but Glasgow is still below the national average.
  • A lower proportion of Glaswegians are coping financially (85% in 2015) compared to Scots as a whole (91%).
  • 34% of all children in the city were estimated to be living in poverty in 2017.
  • The distribution of child poverty and vulnerability to child poverty varies dramatically across Glasgow - 59% of children in one neighbourhood experiencing poverty compared to around 5% in the neighbourhoods with the lowest levels of child poverty.
  • In 2016, 19% of children lived in workless households, 6.5% higher than the Scottish average
  • In-work poverty in Scotland has been rising. 64% of working age adults in poverty live in a household where at least one person works (2015/16). 

(Data from various sources:- the Scottish Household Survey, SIMD, the Annual Population Survey, the Child Poverty map of the UK 2016, End Child Poverty and HM Revenue & Customs, Scottish Government)

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 June 2016. The key findings for Scotland were:

  • a rise in the number of individuals living in relative poverty in 2014/15 - up to 800,000
  • a rise in the percentage of children in relative poverty (up from 14% in 2013/14 to 17% in 2014/15)
  • a rise in working age people in poverty, 15% of adults each are defined as living in relative poverty 
  • median income in Scotland in 2014/15 was £24,900, equivalent to £478 per week. This is an increase of £700, equivalent to £14 per week
  • the proportion of people in poverty who live in working households increased in 2014/15 - 55% 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.

The data on the Understanding Glasgow website comes from a variety of administrative sources and surveys, and the frequency of updates to these sources varies. The graphs and text on each page should indicate the period to which an indicator refers.  In some cases, where more recently published data is not available, we still use older published sources, such as the 2011 Census. Find out more about the timeliness of data presented on this website.

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 »