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Local Authority poverty data

The section sets out information on poverty rates at local authority level in Scotland.

The main income data source, the Family Resources Survey, provides information at national level only. The information presented here is based on alternative sources and is not directly comparable with the official poverty estimates presented in Poverty and Income Inequality in Scotland annual publication.

Latest Statistics

Children in families with limited resources across Scotland 2014-2017

These experimental statistics provide estimates of the proportion of children in families with limited resources by local authority area and household characteristics. The purpose of this limited resources local measure is to provide area breakdowns to inform local planning. The data is based on the Scottish Household Survey. 

The limited resources measure looks at children in families that have low income and cannot afford three or more out of a list of 22 basic necessities. Families are defined as being on a low income if the household income is below 70% of the Scottish median after housing costs.

These statistics replace the previously published experimental statistics 'children in families with limited resources across Scotland 2014-2016' (released in November 2017).

HMRC Children in Low Income Families Statistics

The Children in Low-Income Families Local Measure shows the proportion of children living in families in receipt of out-of-work (means-tested) benefits or in receipt of tax credits where their reported income is less than 60% of UK median income. Latest data available here: Children in Low Income Families 2016 (published in December 2018)

HMRC Tax Credit Statistics

HMRC publish statistics on the number of children and families in receipt of tax credits. The latest available data are a snapshot of April 2018 and are available here: Child and Working Tax Credit Statistics 2018 (published in June 2018)

Other data sources

End Child Poverty local estimates

The Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University has developed estimates of local levels of child poverty for the End Child Poverty coalition since 2013. The most recent estimates using a revised methodology were published on May 2019 at local authority, parliamentary constituency and ward level across the UK. Information is available at  Poverty in your local area.

Users should note that figures shown are synthetic modelled estimates, where survey data on income and household characteristics have been combined with data available at local area level. The estimates generated for a given area are therefore the expected levels of income, and do not represent direct counts of how many children are experiencing poverty in each area.

There is an inherent level of uncertainty associated with this methodological approach which is difficult to quantify, and figures for small areas may fluctuate markedly as a result of random variation. Therefore rates of change observed in specific locations need to be treated with some caution.

Small area income estimates

The Scottish Government commissioned Heriot-Watt University in association with David Simmonds Consultancy to model local level household income estimates for 2014.

The results of this work include the number of households in income bands along with a measure of relative poverty at a datazone level.

The estimates were primarily produced for housing affordability purposes. As such they are based on gross income. This is different from the usual measures of income and poverty which are based on net income.  This measure should therefore be considered an approximate estimate only, but may be of interest for local level poverty related analysis.

Further information, including a methodology paper and non-technical guide, is available here: Small Area Income Estimates

The estimates are also available on Statistics Open Platform, along with a range of other Scottish Government statistics.

Scottish Household Survey Income Imputation Study

The Scottish Government published figures which estimate the proportion of households in relative poverty at local authority level across Scotland. These are available at the following link: Relative poverty across Scottish local authorities

Note that these figures are currently published as "Data being developed" and are undergoing further quality assurance work. These data are published simply to allow the methodology to be developed and the statistics in the publication should not be treated as official statistics.

To find out more about the project carried out to develop these figures, and the sources used, see the following links: