Ethnicity, poverty, and the data in Scotland

A lack of robust data on ethnicity and poverty makes it hard to understand the drivers of poverty for people from minority ethnic backgrounds.

Poverty levels for people in minority ethnic communities in Scotland are double the national average, and rising. Analysis in this briefing highlights several areas that are contributing to this worrying trend.


  • Scottish Government must collect appropriate and robust ethnicity data to allow a full understanding of the structural inequalities faced by minority ethnic communities in Scotland.
  • The UK and Scottish Governments along with employers and trade unions, must bring far greater urgency to creating a labour market that offers equal opportunities for minority ethnic workers, and offers a route out of poverty.
  • Scottish Government must work towards reversing the increasing levels of child poverty amongst people from minority ethnic backgrounds.