Scotland

Numbers in low income

Key points

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Graph 1: Over time

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Graph 2: Fixed low-income threshold

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Graph 3: Compared to Great Britain over time

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Graph 4: Compared to Great Britain by region

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Definitions and data sources

The first graph shows the number of people living in households below 40%, 50% and 60% of the contemporary British median household income after deducting housing costs for each year since 1994/95.

The 60% median threshold is the most widely accepted threshold of low income and is, for example, that used in the UK Government's child poverty targets.

When interpreting changes over time, it is also relevant to monitor the numbers below fixed income thresholds.  As well as the numbers below 60% of the contemporary median, the second graph also shows the proportion of the population living in households with incomes below the fixed threshold of 60% of the 1994/95 British median household income (adjusted for price inflation).

The third graph compares the proportion of people in low-income households in Scotland with that for Great Britain as a whole.

The fourth graph shows how the proportion of the population in low-income households in Scotland compares with other regions in Great Britain.  For each region, the first column shows the average proportion on low income for the years 1994/95 to 1996/97 and the second column shows the average proportion on low income between 2004/05 and 2006/07.  This averaging over three-year bands has been done to improve the statistical reliability of the results.

The data source for all the graphs is Households Below Average Income, based on the Family Resources Survey (FRS).  Income is disposable household income after deducting housing costs.  All the data is equivalised (adjusted) to account for differences in household size and composition.  The self-employed are included in the statistics.  Note that in 2007 DWP made some technical changes to how it adjusted household income for household composition (including retrospective changes) and, as a result, the data is slightly different than previously published figures.

Overall adequacy of the indicator: high.  The FRS is a well-established annual government survey, designed to be representative of the population as a whole.  Note, however, that the coverage of the surveys prior to 2001/2 did not extend beyond the Caledonian Canal.

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External links

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