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Publication - Research Publication

Poverty in Perspective: a typology of poverty in Scotland

Published: 27 Mar 2017
Part of:
Equality and rights, Research
ISBN:
9781786528735

Sets out 13 different ‘types’ of poverty across three life stages: families with children, working age households without children, and pensioner households.

70 page PDF

2.4MB

70 page PDF

2.4MB

Contents
Poverty in Perspective: a typology of poverty in Scotland
Annex A - Definitions: Poverty indicators and poverty factors

70 page PDF

2.4MB

Annex A - Definitions: Poverty indicators and poverty factors

This section explains the poverty indicators used in the final analysis to create the poverty typologies. The poverty indicators are grouped according to whether they represent Resources, Participation, or Quality of Life domains of poverty/social exclusion (Levitas et al, 2007).

In brackets after each indicator shows whether the full survey sample gave information or just part of the sample. Indicators where just part of the sample gave information were still included in the Latent Class Analysis to create the poverty types (see Annex B for more details).

Resources

Poverty indicator: Household income decile (full sample)

Households below the 70% median could be at different depths of low income. This indicator shows which of the bottom income deciles a household is in.

Poverty indicator: Some or deep financial difficulties (full sample)

Households are asked 'Taking everything together, which of these phrases on this card best describes how you and your household are managing financially these days?' from 'manage very well' to 'are in deep financial trouble'. This poverty indicator identifies households that say they 'have some financial difficulties' or 'are in deep financial trouble'.

Poverty indicator: No savings (part sample)

Households are asked about the total value of any savings or investments they have. This poverty indicator identifies households that have no savings or investments.

Poverty indicator: Difficulties paying rent/mortgage in last year (part sample)

Households are asked whether in the last 12 months they have had any difficulties paying their mortgage or rent. This poverty indicator identifies those who have.

Poverty indicator: No car (full sample)

Households are asked how many cars are normally available for private use by members of the household. This poverty indicator identifies households that have no access to a car.

Poverty indicator: Cannot rely on friends/neighbours for help (full sample)

Households were asked how involved they are with other people living in their neighbourhood. More specifically they were asked 'If I was alone and needed help, I could rely on one of my friends/relatives in this neighbourhood to help me'. This poverty indicator identifies households that 'tend to disagree' or 'strongly disagree' to this statement.

Participation

Poverty indicator: Provides regular unpaid care (full sample)

Apart from anything they might do as part of employment households were asked if anyone in the household look afters, or gives any regular help or support to family members, friends, neighbours or others because of either long-term physical / mental ill-health / disability; or problems related to old age. This poverty indicator identifies whether anyone in the household provides regular unpaid care.

Poverty indicator: Has not done any paid cultural activities in past year (full sample)

Households are asked whether they have done a range of paid cultural activities in the past year, and if so how frequently. The activities includes: going to the Cinema; Classical music performance or opera; Live music event, e.g. traditional music, rock concert, jazz event; Theatre, pantomime / musical / play; Dance show / event, e.g. ballet; Historic place, e.g. castle, stately home and grounds, battle or archaeological site; Exhibition - including art, photography and crafts. This poverty indicator identifies households that have not done any paid cultural activities in the past year.

Poverty indicator: Has not done any free cultural activities in past year (full sample)

Households are asked whether they have done a range of free cultural activities in the past year, and if so how frequently. The activities includes: Library, including mobile and online; Museum; Gallery; Street arts, e.g. musical performances or art in parks, streets or shopping centre; Culturally specific festival, e.g. mela /Feis/ local Gala days; Book festival or reading group; and, Archive or records office, e.g. Scotland's Family History Peoples Centre. This poverty indicator identifies households that have not done any free cultural activities in the past year.

Poverty indicator: No internet access at home (part sample)

This indicator identifies households that do not currently have access to the internet from home.

Poverty indicator: Feels cannot influence local decisions (full sample)

This indicator identifies households who tend to disagree or strongly disagree with the statement 'I can influence decision affecting my local area'.

Quality of life

Poverty indicator: Overcrowded accommodation (full sample)

Households are asked the number of bedrooms in the accommodation (including those currently used for other purposes) and the number, age and relationship of all household members. From this information the 'bedroom standard' is calculated to identify whether a household is overcrowded. The bedroom standard allocates a separate bedroom to each married or cohabiting couple, any other person aged 21 or over, each pair of adolescents aged 10-20 of the same sex, and each pair of children aged under 10. Any unpaired person is allocated a separate bedroom.

Poverty indicator: Home never warm or accommodation has serious heating problem (part sample)

Households are asked whether, during the winter months, they generally find that their heating keeps them warm enough at home. This poverty indicator identifies households that say 'no, never', and those who if they say 'only some of the time' or 'never' go on to say that their heating is a serious problem.

Poverty indicator: Ever been homeless (full sample)

This indicator identifies households that have said they have ever been homeless, that is, lost their home with no alternative accommodation to go to.

Poverty indicator: High number of neighbourhood problems (full sample)

Households were asked how common (very/fairly/not very/not at all) this list of things was in their neighbourhood: Noisy neighbours or regular loud parties; Vandalism, graffiti or other deliberate damage to property; Rubbish or litter lying around; Neighbour disputes; Groups or individuals intimidating or harassing others; Drug misuse or dealing; Rowdy behaviour e.g. drunkenness, hooliganism or loutish behaviour; Abandoned or burnt out vehicles; Animal nuisance such as noise or dog fouling. An index was created that summed each item by its frequency which ranged between 9 (all 9 things never happened) to 36 (all 9 things were very common). This poverty indicator identifies households that scored over 21 which suggests a high or frequent number of neighbourhood problems ( e.g. a score of 20 could be made up from 5 of these things being very common).

Poverty indicator: Feel unsafe walking alone in neighbourhood or alone at home (full sample)

Households were asked how safe they feel walking alone in their neighbourhood after dark, and, how safe they feel when alone at home at night. This poverty indicator identifies households that said 'a bit unsafe' or 'very unsafe' to either of these two questions.

Poverty indicator: Lives in one of the 20% most deprived local areas (full sample)

The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2012 helps identify concentrations of deprivation by incorporating several different aspects of deprivation and combining them into a single index. The SIMD combines 38 indicators across 7 domains: income, employment, health, education, skills and training, housing, geographic access and crime. Example indicators include the percentage of adults receiving low-income welfare benefits (Income domain), the journey time by public transport to a post office (Access domain), and the percentage of people living in households without central heating (Housing domain). The SIMD divides Scotland into 6,505 small areas, called datazones, each containing around 350 households. The Index provides a relative ranking for each datazone, from 1 (most deprived) to 6,505 (least deprived). This poverty indicator identifies households that live in one of the 20% most deprived areas as classified by the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation.

Poverty indicator: Dissatisfied with local council (full sample)

Households were asked to what extent they agree (strongly agree/tend to agree/neither agree not disagree/tend to disagree/strongly disagree) with a list of statements about their local council:

A. My local council provides high quality services

B. My local council does the best it can with the money available

C. My local council is addressing the key issues affecting the quality of life in my local neighbourhood

D. My council is good at listening to local people's views before it takes decisions

E. My local council designs its services around the needs of the people who use them

F. My council is good at letting local people know how well it is performing

G. My local council is good at letting people know about the kinds of services it provides

H. I can influence decisions affecting my local area

I. I would like to be more involved in the decisions my council makes that affect my local area

An index was created that summed each item according to by its frequency which ranged between 9 (strongly agreed with all 9 statements) to 45 (strongly disagreed with all 9 statements). This poverty indicator identifies households that scored over 35 which suggests a high level of dissatisfaction with their local council ( e.g. a score of 35 could be made up from disagreeing strongly with 7 of the 9 statements).

Poverty indicator: Not visited countryside in last 12 months (full sample)

Households were asked some questions about various visits to the outdoors that they might do in their leisure time. The term 'outdoors' covered things such as; visits to open spaces in the countryside as well as in towns and cities, such as woodland, parks, farmland, paths, beaches etc. These leisure trips could either have been taken from home or whilst away from home on holiday, provided the holiday was in Scotland. They might include everyday activities like walking the dog as well as other activities like mountain biking or kayaking. This poverty indicator identifies households that did this once or twice a month or less.

Poverty indicator: Experienced discrimination or harassment (full sample)

Households were asked whether, in the last three years, whilst in Scotland, they had experienced any kind of discrimination or harassment. Discrimination covered occasions when they felt they were treated unfairly or with less respect than other people because of their age, gender, ethnic group, religion, disability, or sexual orientation. Harassment covered occasions where they felt intimidated, threatened or disturbed because of their age, gender, ethnic group, religion, disability, sexual orientation or some other reason.

There are also a range of poverty factors and other characteristics of households that help to explain the make-up of the poverty types.

Poverty factor: Household type

The type of household has a number of categories based on the age and composition of the household:

  • Single adult household consists of an adult of non-pensionable age and no children
  • Small adult household contains two adults of non-pensionable age and no children
  • Single parent household contains an adult and one or more children
  • Small family households consist of two adults and one or two children
  • Large family household consists of either (a) two adults and three or more children or (b) three or more adults and one or more children
  • Large adult household has three or more adults and no children
  • Older smaller household contains either (a) an adult of non-pensionable age and an adult of pensionable age and no children or (b) two adults of pensionable age and no children
  • Single pensioner household consists of one adult of pensionable age (65+ for women, and 65+ for men) and no children.

Poverty factor: Gender

This identifies the gender of the highest income householder, so is mainly used to describe single person households.

Poverty factor: Ethnic group

This identifies the ethnic group of the highest income householder and has two categories: White and Minority Ethnic Group.

Poverty factor: Number of children

This identifies the number of dependent children in the household, from 0 to 3 or more.

Poverty factor: Age of youngest child

This identifies the youngest dependent child in the household, and use school-age categories (0-4, 5-11, 12-15)

Poverty factor: Main income sources

Three measures recording whether income from each source is at least 80% of the household's total income: benefits (including all welfare benefits, tax credits and the state pension); earnings; and, miscellaneous sources (including occupational pension, annuities and investment income, maintenance payments, and rent from property).

Poverty factor: Household work status

This identifies the work intensity of the household, vary from workless (no adult in work) to full-time (all adults working 30 or more hours per week).

Poverty factor: Adult and child health

Households were asked whether each of the people in the household has any long-standing illness, health problem or disability that limits their daily activity or the kind of work that they can do. These separate measures identify whether there are any adults with poor health and whether there are any children with poor health.

Poverty factor: Highest qualification

This identifies the highest qualification of a random adult in the household:

  • No qualifications
  • Level 1 - 'O' Grade, Standard grade or equivalent ( SVQ level 1 or 2)
  • Level 2 - Higher, A level or equivalent ( SVQ Level 3)
  • Level 3 - HNC/ HND or equivalent ( SVQ Level 4)
  • Level 4 - Degree, Professional qualification (Above SVQ Level 4)
  • Other qualification

Poverty factor: Rurality

This uses the urban/rural classification to identify households living in urban (large urban areas, small urban areas or small accessible towns) or rural areas (small remote towns, accessible rural or remote rural).

Poverty factor: Tenure of household

This identifies how the household owns its accommodation: Buying with mortgage/loan or own it outright; Social renting; Private renting; or, Other, e.g. living rent free.


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