This website is now part of Public Health Scotland. Publications released after 16 March 2020 are now published on the Public Health Scotland website.
Improving health
Previously NHS Health Scotland

More than 8 out of 10 children in relative poverty in Scotland are at least one of these priority groups

  • lone-parent families
  • a household where someone is disabled
  • families with three or more children
  • minority ethnic families
  • families with a child under one year old
  • families where the mother is under 25 years of age.

As well as wider actions to successfully reduce child poverty, we need to reach these groups and meet their needs.

Here you can find out more about some of these priority groups to help you better meet their needs.

Families with three or more children

Families with three or more children are classed as larger families.  Just over 73,000 families in Scotland (12% of all families with children) are larger families, with 241,000 children living within these.

  • In 2015-18 one in three of all children in relative poverty in Scotland were living in a larger family.
  • Families with four or more children are more disadvantaged than families with three children
  • Half of all children in relative poverty in larger families also live in a household where someone is disabled, while one quarter also lives in lone-parent families.

When looking at the causes of child poverty within larger families in Scotland:

  • they are disproportionately affected by the two-child policy and the benefits cap
  • more than 6 out of 10 children in such families affected by relative poverty live in working families
  • the likelihood of having a parent in employment reduces as the number of children in the family increases
  • they also face higher costs of living, are less likely to report they are managing well financially and are more likely to be overcrowded compared to smaller families.

While there are important gaps in our knowledge around child poverty in larger families, there are actions which can help mitigate, prevent and undo child poverty which is also relevant to larger families.

You can learn more in our child poverty briefing on larger families in Scotland.