‘Shocking’ inequalities in Scotland

'Shocking' inequalities have been revealed in Scottish society, in a state-of-the-nation report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. A boy born in a wealthy area of Scotland will live 14 years longer than a boy born into poverty, it finds.

The report is the sixth in a series of poverty assessments for Scotland, the previous one being in 2008. It assesses a wide range of indicators including those relating to unemployment, education and health.

Key findings

  • Since 2008, the number of people in Scotland aged under 25 who are unemployed has almost doubled to 90,000.
  • Among those without dependent children, there has been a rise in the number living in low-income working families from 125,000 to 150,000.
  • The number of people working part time, and who want a full-time job, has risen from 70,000 in 2008 to 120,000 in 2012.
  • A boy born in the most deprived 10 per cent of areas has a life expectancy of 68, eight years below the national average and 14 years below that of boys born in the least deprived areas.
  • In the poorest areas there has been barely any recent improvement in cancer mortality. There has been a steep fall in deaths from coronary heart disease in the poorest areas: but the rate of mortality is still twice the Scottish average.
  • Scotland’s child poverty rate did, however, drop 10 percentage points in the decade to 2011, from 31 per cent to 21 per cent (from 340,000 to 220,000) and is now lower than England’s. In common with the rest of the UK, pensioner poverty also dropped substantially, from 230,000 to 120,000.

Source: Hannah Aldridge, Peter Kenway and Tom MacInnes, Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion in Scotland 2013, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
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