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Poverty and Inequality

Inequality looks at society as a whole and measures the gap between the richest and poorest. Reducing poverty alongside inequality can support increased economic participation, improved social cohesion and stronger communities.

The Scottish Government's Solidarity target makes the commitment to increase the share of income received by the poorest 30% of the population in Scotland by 2017. In 2009-10, these households collectively received 13% of Scotland's income, whereas the richest 30% received over half.

The poorest 30% of the population contains:

  • 1,500,000 individuals in 850,000 families;
  • 370,000 children;
  • 370,000 pensioners; and
  • 760,000 people of working age.

Delivering solidarity will mean working in a joint national effort to create the conditions for more and better paid jobs; to provide the skills needed to participate and progress in the workforce; and to remove the barriers that stand in the way of individuals realising their full potential. It also means working to maximise income for all so that everyone, including those who cannot enter the labour market, are well supported by income maximisation services and have a decent living standard.