Dramatic stagnation to enhancements in dwelling requirements affecting Scotland’s well being

Dramatic stagnation to enhancements in dwelling requirements affecting Scotland’s well being

New analysis reveals socioeconomic inequality in Scotland above common in comparison with different European nations

Press launch

Enhancements in dwelling requirements – which we had come to count on within the a long time earlier than 2010 – have stalled dramatically in Scotland since 2010, affecting the well being of the inhabitants. On the similar time, inequalities of earnings, earnings, wealth and training stay comparatively excessive in Scotland, as compared each to the previous and to many comparable European nations.

These are the 2 key findings of a brand new report printed by FAI immediately which explores traits since 1999 in the important thing elements that affect well being.

The report argues that elements together with monetary safety, the standard of housing and the native surroundings, training, and employment, can have an effect on well being in all kinds of how. Residing in damp or overcrowded lodging can have an effect on well being immediately, while monetary safety can have an effect on psychological wellbeing, and affect individuals’s means to have interaction in wholesome behaviours.

At present’s report units out that:

  • There was an unprecedented stagnation of earnings and family incomes in Scotland (as within the UK) within the decade following 2009/10. Between 2009/10 and 2019/20, family disposable earnings grew at lower than half the speed it had within the earlier three a long time. By 2021, typical weekly earnings had been round £80 per week beneath what they’d have been had long-run traits earlier than 2010 continued.
  • Revenue inequality in Scotland, whereas decrease than within the UK as a complete, is above the common of European nations. Inequalities of earnings, wealth and academic attainment are additionally comparatively excessive in Scotland, and have remained persistently so for a few years.

The report argues that these two key options of the Scottish economic system are more likely to affect future well being in Scotland. Enhancements in life expectancy in Scotland had already stalled from 2012, and well being inequalities stay excessive – as mentioned in a current report from the College of Glasgow (‘Well being inequalities in Scotland’, Miall et al. 2022).

At present’s report is a part of a serious programme of labor to raised perceive traits in well being inequalities in Scotland, and the broader determinants of well being.

The Well being Inequalities in Scotland: An impartial evaluate, is funded by the Well being Basis, working with Scottish analysis companions and an skilled advisory group. The evaluate goals to supply a sturdy proof base for future coverage growth and supply – motion that may enhance individuals’s long-term well being and shut the well being hole between the richest and poorest.

At present’s Fraser of Allander Institute report goals to supply a complete evaluation of how inequalities within the socioeconomic determinants of well being have advanced in Scotland over current a long time, with a selected concentrate on the interval since 1999. The report argues that elements together with monetary safety, the standard of housing and the native surroundings, training, and employment, can have an effect on well being in a mess of how.

Commenting on the report, David Eiser, Deputy Director at FAI and creator of the report stated:

“Scotland’s economic system, just like the UK’s, has been characterised by excessive ranges of inequality for a lot of a long time. Since 2010, the economic system has additionally been characterised by stagnating earnings progress and flatlining dwelling requirements.

“The well being of the inhabitants, and well being inequalities inside the inhabitants, are formed by social and financial circumstances.

“The similarities between Scotland’s financial and well being traits are putting. Stagnation of enchancment in incomes and dwelling requirements has coincided with a slowing of enchancment on some well being outcomes, together with life expectancy and wholesome life expectancy, and an growing prevalence of psychological well being points.

“The hyperlinks between the economic system and well being are complicated and work each methods. We’ve seen this within the context of Covid (the place socio-economic circumstances influenced vulnerability to the illness), and the present cost-of-living disaster – which has the potential to have an effect on well being in quite a few methods.”

David Finch, Assistant Director on the Well being Basis, stated:

“At present’s report represents a complete try to map and assess traits in a variety of the socioeconomic determinants of well being in Scotland together with incomes and poverty, wealth and debt, employment and training, housing and extra.

“Throughout these areas the message is obvious. Inequalities are excessive, and progress has slowed. Addressing socioeconomic inequalities and enhancing dwelling requirements shall be key to creating significant progress in in the direction of enhancing the well being of Scotland.”

Chris Creegan, Chair of the Professional Advisory Group, stated:

“At present’s report reiterates the important significance of wider socioeconomic elements in influencing well being and stubbornly excessive well being inequalities.

“At present’s report units out a powerful proof base.  The Well being Basis’s report, to be printed in January, will think about proof from the evaluate and concentrate on how Scotland can construct on sturdy coverage intent to create a sustainable strategy to closing the hole in well being outcomes.”

Different findings from the report embody:

  • The proportion of individuals in Scotland dwelling in poverty did fall all through the primary decade of the 2000s, however has begun to extend once more for the reason that mid-2010s. Some teams are persistently extra more likely to be in poverty than others. Charges of meals insecurity for instance are notably excessive amongst single dad and mom. Residing in poverty is related to decrease life expectancy, and higher threat of diet-related issues, continual sickness and psychological well being issues.
  • Earnings inequality has fallen barely in Scotland throughout the previous decade. However earnings inequality stays no less than on a par with equal measures for European nations, and there was some rise in insecure types of work. The traits of a job – its pay, safety, and autonomy – can affect on well being and wellbeing.
  • Socioeconomic background continues to play a powerful position in influencing academic attainment and participation in Scotland, with blended proof of enchancment.
  • Wealth inequality in Scotland is excessive. 45% of wealth is held by ten per cent of households, while a tenth of households don’t have any, or unfavorable wealth. Wealth can affect well being by means of the way in which it impacts monetary and housing safety.
  • Over the previous 20 years, housing prices have tended to extend comparatively extra for these within the personal rented and social rented sectors, relative to these in proprietor occupation. Residing in a moist or chilly house can have an effect on well being immediately, while housing prices and safety can affect anxiousness and psychological wellbeing.
  • A slowdown in spending on public providers – together with well being and social care – since 2010 appears more likely to have contributed to a contemporaneous slowdown in enchancment in public well being. Cuts in social safety spending since 2010 might have contributed to an increase within the proportion of individuals affected by psychological well being issues.

Picture of David Eiser, research fellow at the Fraser of Allander Institute

David is Senior Information Change Fellow on the Fraser of Allander Institute



Emma is Deputy Director and Senior Information Change Fellow on the Fraser of Allander Institute

Ciara is a part of the Information Change Crew on the Fraser of Allander Institute.

Allison is a Information Change Assistant on the Fraser of Allander Institute