Child poverty in Scotland: The facts

Almost one in four (250,000) of Scotland’s children are officially recognised as living in poverty. (Source: Scottish Government)

69% of children in poverty live in working households. (Source: Scottish Government)

What is child poverty?

Child poverty means growing up in families without the resources to ‘obtain the type of diet, participate in the activities and have the living conditions and amenities’ which are the norm in 21st century Scotland (Townsend, 1979). Children are considered to be living in poverty if they live in households with less than 60% of median household income. This is the key measure used by UK and Scottish Government.

From latest figures (2019-22) a family is considered as in poverty if, after housing costs, they are living on:

  • Less than £360 a week or £18,700 a year for a single person with children aged five and 14
  • Less than £485 or £25,300 a year for a couple with children aged five and 14


Characteristics of child poverty in Scotland

of children in Scotland are living in poverty
of children living in poverty in Scotland are in households where someone works
of children in lone parent households live in poverty
of children with a disabled family member are in poverty