Demos: 24,000 Scottish families face severe disadvantage

A new report by the think-tank Demos reveals the full extent of the hardship experienced across Scotland, estimating that 24,000 families face severe disadvantage.

Glasgow is the worst area affected, with over 1 in 10 families facing severe disadvantage – three times the national average.

Researchers conducted a regional analysis of 28,000 households in Scotland, looking at seven disadvantages, including low income, worklessness, no qualifications and ill health. Families facing four or more disadvantages were considered ‘severely disadvantaged’.

The 15 areas with the highest proportion of severely disadvantaged families are:

 


Families with children

 

 

Number of disadvantages

 

Region

None

1 to 3

4+

 

%

%

%

1

Glasgow

38

51

11

2

South Lanarkshire

58

36

7

3

North Lanarkshire

51

44

5

4

Fife

49

47

5

5

Ayrshire

52

45

4

6

Central

52

44

4

7

Renfrewshire and Inverclyde

56

41

3

8

Highlands and Islands

58

39

3

9

Tayside

51

46

3

10

Lothian

54

43

3

12

Southern Scotland

54

44

3

13

Edinburgh

58

39

2

14

Dunbartonshire

52

45

2

15

Grampian

62

37

2

 

Scotland

53

43

4

As shown above, both South and North Lanarkshire (7% and 5% of families respectively) and Fife (5%) have levels of severely disadvantaged families above the Scottish national average, while the Grampian region is the least disadvantaged.

The research also found that:

  • Unmarried households with children are six times more likely to be severely disadvantaged than married households (with 8.5% of unmarried households with children facing four or more disadvantages versus 1.4% of married households).
  • 15% of families with children are workless, compared with 24% of working age households without children.
  • South Lanarkshire is the area with the highest inequality, as the percentage of families with either four or more disadvantages (7%) or none (58%) are both higher than the national average.
  • The research also identifies which types of families that are more likely to experience severe disadvantage, with half (51%) being lone parents, compared to a national average of 21%.
  • Households experiencing severe disadvantage are also more likely to live in large urban areas (50%) and social rented housing (77%).

Louise Bazalgette, author of the ‘A Wider Lens’ report, said:

“This report goes beyond a simplistic understanding of disadvantage, recognising that hardship is about a lot more than low income. It provides insight into the struggle thousands of families across Scotland go through on a daily basis coping with poverty, worklessness and poor health.

“The extent of severe disadvantage in some areas of Scotland shows the scale of the challenge for some local authorities, who need to find effective ways to work with families facing a complex set of problems at a time of dwindling public resources.

“In upcoming research Demos will work closely with severely disadvantaged families and local support providers, to go beyond these headline figures and provide a better understanding of their lives.”

Paul Moore, Chief Executive of Scottish charity Quarriers, said: “This research paints a truly bleak picture of what life is like for thousands of families across Scotland who experience multi disadvantage every day. This is why Quarriers is launching Scotland’s Family Appeal.

“The charity has been supporting these families in Scotland for the past 140 years – and it is clear from the findings in this report they need our support more than ever.

“Multiple disadvantage has a compounding effect, creating a perfect storm of complex, interrelated hardships that feed off each other and are incredibly difficult to overcome.

“Quarriers’s mission is to step in to ensure the needs of these disadvantaged families are met – and we aim to do so through Scotland’s Family Appeal to enable the charity to develop innovative services to help people cope.”

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

The research was conducted by Demos and researchers at NatCen, who performed secondary analysis of the latest available two-year dataset of the Scottish Household Survey (2009-10), which contains information from over 28,000 households in Scotland.

The figure of 24,000 families in Scotland facing severe disadvantage was reached by calculating the percentage of families facing severe disadvantage (4%) and applying this to the total population of families with children in Scotland.

Severe disadvantage means those households facing a minimum of four separate indicators of disadvantage. The seven indicators included in the analysis were:

  • Low income: households with total net disposable income below 60% of median of all households in Scotland.
  • Worklessness: households where no one is in work.
  • No educational qualifications: households where the highest income householder has no educational qualifications.
  • Overcrowding: households with a bedroom allocation requirement higher than the number of actual bedrooms.
  • Ill health: households where someone has a health problem or disability (excluding mental health) that limits their daily activity.
  • Mental health problems: households where someone has a mental health illness that limits their daily activity.
  • Poor neighbourhood: households where the highest income householder rates their neighbourhood as a ‘fairly poor’ or ‘very poor’ place to live.

The report, A Wider Lens, by Louise Bazalgette, Matt Barnes and Chris Lord is published by Demos on Monday 22 October 2012.

This research was supported by Quarriers. Additional analysis was conducted by NatCen.

About Quarriers:

  • Quarriers supports many thousands of people through its 150 services across the UK.
  • The charity’s first night refuge for children and young people was opened on November 18, 1871 by William Quarrier in Glasgow.
  • Quarriers is based near Bridge of Weir, just outside Glasgow, and now employs more than 2,000 staff.
  • The charity's work is carried out to meet one aim: to create a just and accepting society, where everyone can participate and enjoy life.
  • For more information visit www.quarriers.org.uk or follow us on Twitter @quarriers or on Facebook www.facebook.com/quarriersfans

Print case studies are available on request.

 

MEDIA CONTACT

Rob Macpherson

Rob.macpherson@demos.co.uk

020 7367 6325

(out of hours: 07554 424 137)

ATTENTION NEWSDESKS AND FORWARD PLANNERS

EMBARGOED UNTIL 00:01 MONDAY 22 OCTOBER 2012

 

Demos: 24,000 Scottish families face severe disadvantage

 

A new report by the think-tank Demos reveals the full extent of the hardship experienced across Scotland, estimating that 24,000 families face severe disadvantage.

 

Glasgow is the worst area affected, with over 1 in 10 families facing severe disadvantage – three times the national average.

 

Researchers conducted a regional analysis of 28,000 households in Scotland, looking at seven disadvantages, including low income, worklessness, no qualifications and ill health. Families facing four or more disadvantages were considered ‘severely disadvantaged’.

 

The 15 areas with the highest proportion of severely disadvantaged families are:

 

 


Families with children

 

 

Number of disadvantages

 

Region

None

1 to 3

4+

 

%

%

%

1

Glasgow

38

51

11

2

South Lanarkshire

58

36

7

3

North Lanarkshire

51

44

5

4

Fife

49

47

5

5

Ayrshire

52

45

4

6

Central

52

44

4

7

Renfrewshire and Inverclyde

56

41

3

8

Highlands and Islands

58

39

3

9

Tayside

51

46

3

10

Lothian

54

43

3

12

Southern Scotland

54

44

3

13

Edinburgh

58

39

2

14

Dunbartonshire

52

45

2

15

Grampian

62

37

2

 

Scotland

53

43

4

 

 

As shown above, both South and North Lanarkshire (7% and 5% of families respectively) and Fife (5%) have levels of severely disadvantaged families above the Scottish national average, while the Grampian region is the least disadvantaged.

 

The research also found that:

·         Unmarried households with children are six times more likely to be severely disadvantaged than married households (with 8.5% of unmarried households with children facing four or more disadvantages versus 1.4% of married households).

 

·         15% of families with children are workless, compared with 24% of working age households without children.

 

·         South Lanarkshire is the area with the highest inequality, as the percentage of families with either four or more disadvantages (7%) or none (58%) are both higher than the national average.

·         The research also identifies which types of families that are more likely to experience severe disadvantage, with half (51%) being lone parents, compared to a national average of 21%.

·         Households experiencing severe disadvantage are also more likely to live in large urban areas (50%) and social rented housing (77%).

Louise Bazalgette, author of the ‘A Wider Lens’ report, said:

 

“This report goes beyond a simplistic understanding of disadvantage, recognising that hardship is about a lot more than low income. It provides insight into the struggle thousands of families across Scotland go through on a daily basis coping with poverty, worklessness and poor health.

 

“The extent of severe disadvantage in some areas of Scotland shows the scale of the challenge for some local authorities, who need to find effective ways to work with families facing a complex set of problems at a time of dwindling public resources.

 

“In upcoming research Demos will work closely with severely disadvantaged families and local support providers, to go beyond these headline figures and provide a better understanding of their lives.”

 

Paul Moore, Chief Executive of Scottish charity Quarriers, said: “This research paints a truly bleak picture of what life is like for thousands of families across Scotland who experience multi disadvantage every day. This is why Quarri