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27 May 2014
New inequality findings released

New inequality findings released

The neighbourhood in which you live can have a “substantial impact” on your future experiences and outcomes, according to a new report.

Work carried out by the Improvement Service (IS) revealed there are strong relationships between positive and negative outcomes in Scotland, with areas experiencing one form of deprivation tending to be disadvantaged in several other sectors too.

Experts at IS analysed three groups comprising the 330 most deprived neighbourhoods, 330 central neighbourhoods and 330 least deprived neighbourhoods in Scotland over the course of a year.

IS chief executive Colin Mair said: “The disparities in multiple life outcomes are generally persistent and in some cases continuing to grow. It is recognised that this study has been profiled over the beginning of an economic recession; this is very recognisable within particular outcomes, such as the proportion of JSA claimants which rose dramatically in 2008.

“The limitations to this research should also be considered. The majority of indicators profiled in this report are only available up to 2011. This fails to capture possible impacts or progress from more recent and current policies. 

“This does not, however, deter from the apparent stability of unequal outcomes across Scotland up to 2011. 

“The relationships examined represent neighbourhoods rather than individuals or households, which raises another significant observation: people born into a deprived neighbourhood in Scotland have a higher chance of being income deprived, of needing emergency hospitalisation, being a victim of crime, and achieving poorly in education. In this respect, the neighbourhood in which you live can have a substantial impact on your future experiences and outcomes.”

The report findings indicate Scotland cannot afford a continued rise in public expenditure which questions what these percentages may look like in the decade ahead of us, if further public budget cuts are on the horizon. 

The results also revealed the relevance of income and employment-related factors as determinants of other negative and positive outcomes.

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