Definition: Poverty

Poverty is described by the Scottish Government as a household that has an income of less than 60% of the average income for that household type. Since the COVID-19 pandemic and cost of living crisis, more people in Scotland are now living in poverty.99Poverty in Scotland: methodology


Homelessness perspective100Homelessness Is Socially Created: Cluster Analysis of Social Determinants of Homelessness (SODH) in North West England in 2020

The underpinning reasons for the high number of people experiencing homelessness in Scotland is a: 

Homelessness and poverty are inextricably linked. If you do not have enough money to afford your rent and bills you will be asked to leave your property.  

Poverty and low income prevent people from accessing potential housing options and if they do, they may find it hard to sustain this tenancy. Poverty increases your risk of illness and with the 3.9% of Scotland's workforce not having set working hours, this could mean unemployment, lack of sick pay and the loss of your housing.101Fair Work Action Plan 2022 and Anti-Racist Employment Strategy 2022: equality impact assessment – Appendix D Evidence and Key Issues


Fill in the missing word to show how poverty breeds marginalisation and division in society which can lead to homelessness.

Poverty is the common factor in both individual and structural causes of homelessness. 

Gambling perspective

Gambling harm impacts people from all socio-economic backgrounds. However, people living in low-income households are particularly likely to experience harm.

With 1 in 5 people in Scotland living in poverty,102Poverty and Income Inequality in Scotland 2019-22 ( gambling is sometimes seen as a potential way out of desperate circumstances or a difficult financial situation. Gambling companies knowingly profit from this - 10 times more gambling premises, such as bookies, are located in the most deprived areas than in the least deprived areas.103Geography of gambling premises (



Gambling is sometimes seen as a coping mechanism, or an escape when experiencing hardship. Charities report an increase in people gambling to try to make ends meet or pay bills due to the cost of living crisis.



Betting shops are 10 times more likely to be found in more deprived areas than in the least deprived areas. Research identified Liverpool, Middlesbrough, Glasgow, and the City of London as having the most betting shops per person.104The geography of gambling premises in Britain | School of Geographical Sciences | University of Bristol


Past experiences

Early experience of economic deprivation, uncertainty, or food scarcity encourages people to prefer smaller-sooner rather than larger-later rewards.105Economic and social deprivation predicts impulsive choice in children - PubMed (