Child poverty is a big problem in Scotland.
The chart below shows the trends in relative child poverty since 1994/95.
- After increasing, levels then fell during the late 1990s and mid-2000s.
- Since 2013 levels have started to increase again.
- In 2017/18, just under a quarter (24%) of children in Scotland were living in relative poverty (240,000 children).
It also shows that child poverty is likely to further increase through until 2029/30. This however, is not inevitable if action is taken to reduce child poverty at a national and local level.
Who is affected
Two-thirds of children in poverty in Scotland live in working households.
Most children in Scotland living in poverty live in families
- with one or two children
- headed by a couple
- where no-one is disabled
- in white Scottish households
- where the mother is aged 25 or older.
However, the risk of poverty is much higher for children in
- households where nobody is in paid employment
- families with three or more children
- lone parent households
- households where someone is disabled
- non-white Scottish households
- households where the mother is under the age of 25.
Reducing child poverty is therefore likely to require both population-wide and targeted interventions.
Find out more about the scale of child poverty
Further information can be found within our briefing, 'Child poverty: Scale, trends and distribution'.