Working-age adults in low-income households

Graphs on this page:

Supporting information:

Key points

  • At 19%, the proportion of working-age adults who are in low-income households is similar to a decade ago.
  • Working-age adults with dependent children are somewhat more likely to be in a low-income household than those without dependent children but the gap between them is much narrower than a decade ago.
  • The proportion of working-age adults who are in low-income households in Scotland is lower than the average for the United Kingdom as a whole (19% compared to a UK average of 21%).  Seven English regions plus Wales have a higher proportion and the other two English regions plus Northern Ireland have a lower proportion.
  • See the indicator on low income by work status.

Definitions and data sources

The first graph shows the risk of a working-age adult being in a low-income household.  Because their trends are somewhat different, the data is also shown separately for working-age adults with and without dependent children.

The second graph shows how the risk of working-age adults being in low-income households in Scotland compares with the rest of the United Kingdom.

The data source for both graphs is Households Below Average Income, based on the Family Resources Survey (FRS).   Income is disposable household income after deducting housing costs and the low-income threshold is the same as that used elsewhere, namely 60% of British contemporary median household income.  All the data is equivalised (adjusted) to account for differences in household size and composition.  The self-employed are included in the statistics.  Note that in 2007 DWP made some technical changes to how it adjusted household income for household composition (including retrospective changes) and, as a result, the data is slightly different than previously published figures.  The averaging over three-year periods has been done to improve statistical reliability.

Overall adequacy of the indicator: high.  The FRS is a well-established annual government survey, designed to be representative of the population as a whole.  Note, however, that the coverage of the surveys prior to 2001/2 did not extend beyond the Caledonian Canal.