Jump to navigation Jump to content

1 in 28 adults in Scotland experience extreme disadvantage each year

This blog was published by the Institute for Social Policy, Housing, Equalities Research (I-SPHERE). It relates to the report, Hard Edges Scotland, written by Prof Suzanne Fitzpatrick and Prof Glen Bramely and published by I-SPHERE with the support of Lankelly Chase and the Robertson Trust. 

I-SPHERE research Hard Edges Scotland, commissioned by Lankelly Chase and The Robertson Trust, has been launched today.

Hard Edges Scotland highlights the complexity of the lives of people facing multiple disadvantage.

The research found that almost 200,000 adults in Scotland experience at least one form of extreme disadvantage each year, including homelessness, substance dependency and offending. However, when additional disadvantages such as mental ill-health and domestic violence are considered, the numbers affected more than double to nearly 450,000 people each year.

The research also details the challenges that charitable services and the public sector are facing. In particular, the report illustrates the mismatch between the multiple disadvantage people face, and the fact that services are often set up to address ‘single issues’.

Hard Edges Scotland identifies that people are often not able to access services until they have reached crisis point. It also highlights the necessity for services to become more consistent and tailored to each person, taking trauma and underlying causes such as poverty and childhood experience into consideration, to address the current gaps which are locking people in extreme disadvantage.

The pervasive nature of multiple disadvantage can affect whole families and communities, and the research alerts the urgent need to find different ways to address these problems to ensure they are not inherited by future generations.

Research key findings:

Each year in Scotland:

  • 5,700 adults experience three ‘core’ forms of severe and multiple disadvantage (homelessness, offending and substance dependency)
  • 28,800 experience two out of these three
  • 156,700 experience one of these three
  • Higher rates of extreme disadvantage are found in urban compared to rural areas
  • Glasgow, West Dunbartonshire, Clackmannanshire, Dundee, North Ayrshire and Aberdeen City show high prevalence of people experiencing ‘core’ forms of severe and multiple disadvantage.
  • Affluent, suburban towns and the Highlands and Islands have lower rates.

Continue at I-SPHERE