Press Story

Child poverty statistics released today show that 250,000 children – the equivalent of around 10,000 primary school classes – are trapped in poverty in Scotland.

The figures for 2019-2022, covering the period of Scotland experiencing both the cost of living and Covid crises, show 24 per cent of children (almost one in four) living in poverty – just a one percentage point decrease on previous figures.

The Scottish Government has set itself a legally binding target to reduce child poverty to 10 per cent by 2030-31 – less than a decade’s time. This is possible, but IPPR Scotland has urged the Scottish Government to set out immediately how it will more than double the reduction in child poverty seen since devolution, over the next seven years.

Commenting, IPPR Scotland Director Philip Whyte said:

“We’re barely making a dent in our persistently high child poverty rate and although important, targets almost a decade away mean little when a quarter of a million children are locked in poverty right now and progress has stagnated.

“Scotland has taken important steps to tackle poverty in recent years and shown what can be possible with political will and investment – including the introduction of, and successive increases to, the Scottish Child Payment which will have a positive impact. But these figures should be a warning that we need to go further, faster with all the tools at our disposal.

“That should mean further increases through social security and a universal guarantee of financial security, scaling up employment support, and making short-term progress towards long-term commitments like the development of a new minimum income guarantee.”



  1. IPPR Scotland is Scotland’s progressive think tank. We are dedicated to supporting and improving public policy, working tirelessly to achieve a progressive Scotland. We are cross-party and neutral on the question of Scotland’s independence. Find out more at
  2. Figures relate to children living in relative poverty, after housing costs – the headline measure of the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2018.
  3. The full statistics are available at: