Research and data in the Scottish Borders: People

Reducing inequalities

Why is it important to have statistics about reducing inequalities?

One of the National Outcomes in the Scottish Government National Performance Framework states that "we tackle poverty by sharing opportunities, wealth and power more equally" in Scotland as a whole. It further states that:

"Scotland is a wealthy country and we have the resources, ability and commitment to provide a decent life for all our people. We are committed to eradicating poverty and hunger in Scotland." 

Our path in life must not be disadvantaged at birth by our gender, background or any other Equalities protected characteristic. We use the latest research and data to make sure Scottish Borders plays its part in making this outcome happen in our region. The information on this page is an analysis of the policy framework, the topics and the evidence base that informs this national outcome.

Scottish Borders Policy framework

The 2022-23 Scottish Borders Council Plan is key to our policy framework on how we plan to deliver services in the next few years. It consists of six priority outcomes, which are informed by an evidence base, including the Strategic Assessment.  Reducing poverty and disadvantage is central to Priority outcome 5 "Good health and wellbeing". You can see how we are doing in delivering this outcome in our quarterly and annual public performance reports.

Our 2021 Draft Scottish Borders Anti-poverty Strategy sets out or vision and plan for reducing poverty in the Scottish Borders. 

Find out more about our current strategies aimed at reducing Child Poverty in Scottish Borders

Find out more about Multiple Deprivation in Scottish Borders.

Recent stategies aimed at reducing inequalities and tackling deprivation in Scottish Borders include the 2016-25 Reducing Inequalities Strategic Plan and Reducing Inequalities Strategic Plan Summary

Topic areas

There is a large amount of evidence from official statistics to inform poverty and inequalities research, across a wide range of topic areas. 

Information on other categories of inequalities can be more difficult to find at Local Authority area  or below. The Scottish Government Equalities Evidence Finder is a useful starting point to browse what's available and give an overview for Scotland.

Reducing inequalities for adults in poverty or debt

Reducign inequalities for carers

Reducing inequalities for children

Reducing inequalities for people with disabilities

  • NRS's January 2016 Local Authority summary, on the characteristics of people with a learning disability or developmental disorder, from the 2011 Census, is available to download
  • NRS's November 2016 Local Authority summary, on the characteristics of people with a learning disability or developmental disorder by residence type, SIMD area and other circumstances, from the 2011 Census, is available to download
  • NRS's June 2017 Local Authority summary, on the characteristics of people with a learning disability or developmental disorder by household deprivation, carers, employment and other circumstances, from the 2011 Census, is available to download

The 2011 Census summary overview listed the characteristics of the Scottish Borders population with a long-term health problem or disability (compared with Scotland):

  • 81.5% of the 113,870 respondents said their life was not limited at all by any long term health problem or disability (80.4%)
  • 10.6% said it was limited a little by a long term health problem or disability (10.1%)
  • 8% said their life was limited a lot by a long term health problem or disability (9.6%)
  • 70.2% did not have any long-term health conditions (70.1%).  The remaining 30% had at least one long-term health condition.
  • 7.5% lived with deafness or hearing loss (6.6%)
  • 6.1% lived with a physical disability (6.7%)
  • 3.5% lived with a mental health condition (4.4%)
  • 2.5% lived with blindness or sight loss (2.4%)
  • 1.9% lived with a learning difficulty, e.g. dyslexia (2%)
  • 0.6% lived with a developmental disorder, e.g. autism (0.6%)
  • 0.5% lived with a learning disability, e.g. Down's syndrome (0.5%)
  • 18.1% lived with another long term health condition (18.7%)

Reducing education inequalities

Reducing gender inequalities

  • according to Nomis, in 2022, the median (average) gross weekly wage for full-time workers working (not necessarily living) in the Scottish Borders was £577.20 for men and £533.70 for women, a Workplace-based weekly gender pay gap of £43.50
  • this means that female full-time workers working in the Scottish Borders earn 92.5% of men's workplace-based earnings.
  • in 2022, the median gross weekly wage for full-time workers living (but not necessarily working) in the Scottish Borders was £625.80 for men and £577.80 for women, a Residence-based weekly gender pay gap of £48.
  • this means that female full-time workers living in the Scottish Borders earn 92.3% of men's residence-based earnings 
  • these gender pay gaps are lower in the Scottish Borders than in other Scottish council areas.  However, there is also a regional pay gap between Scottish Borders and the Scottish average, meaning that it is already harder for men and women alike, who live or work in the region, to find average-paid work or better (by Scottish standards) than if they lived or worked elsewhere.
  • the latest statistics on the gender pay gap at Scottish Borders Council are available from the LGBF interactive Explore tool

Reducing health inequalities

Reducing housing inequalities

Reducing inequalities for the LGBT+ community 

  • evidence from the 2019 Scottish Surveys Core Questions in the Scottish Government Equalities Evidence Finder found that around 3% of Scottish respondents self-identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or other, but that this is likely to be an undercount.
  • results from Scotland's Census 2022, which asked questions about sexual and gender identity for the first time, will be available by 2025

Reducing inequalities on the basis of race, ethnicity and national identity

 The 2011 Census summary overview listed the ethnic characteristics of the Scottish Borders population (compared with Scotland).


  • 78.8% of the 113,870 respondents were White Scottish (84%)
  • 16.4% were White Other British (7.9%)
  • 0.7% were White Irish (15%)
  • 1.1% were White Polish (1.2%)
  • 1.7% were Other White ethnicities (2%)
  • 0.6% were Asian, Asian Scottish or Asian British (2.7%)
  • 0.6% were Other ethnic groups (1.3%)

National identity:

  • 57.7% identified as Scottish only (62.4%)
  • 10.7% identified as British only (8.4%)
  • 16.9% identified as Scottish and British (18.3%)
  • 2.6% identified as Scottish and something else (1.9%)
  • 5.6% identified as English only  (2.3%)
  • 3.3% identified as other combinations of UK identities (2%)
  • 3.2% identified as something else other than the above (4.7%)

Country of birth:

  • 75% were born in Scotland (83.3%)
  • 18.6% were born in England (8.7%)
  • 0.7% were born in Northern Ireland (0.7%)
  • 0.5% were born in Wales (0.3%)
  • 0.4% were born in the Republic of Ireland (0.4%)
  • 2.5% were born in other EU countries (2.6%)
  • 2.4% were born somewhere else (4%)

Out of all the Scottish Borders respondents born outside the UK (5,858 people):

  • 47.3% had been in the UK for more than 10 years (37.4%)
  • 21.5% had been in the UK for two to five years
  • 19.4% had been in the UK for five to ten years (18.8%)
  • 11.9% had been in the UK for less than two years (22.1%)

Out of all the Scottish Borders respondents aged 3 and over (110,514 people):

  • 98.9% spoke English well (98.6%)
  • 3.3% used a language other than English in the home (3.9%)
  • 1% did not speak English well (1.2%)
  • 0.3% were able to speak Gaelic (1.1%)
  • 0.1% did not speak English at all (0.2%)

Reducing inequalities on the basis of religion

The2011 Census summary overview listed the religious characteristics of the Scottish Borders population (compared with Scotland):

  • 39.4% identified with Church of Scotland (32.4%)
  • 6.3% identified as Roman Catholic (15.9%)
  • 7.6% identified as Other Christian (5.5%)
  • 0.2% identified as Muslim (1.4%)
  • 0.7% identified with another religion (1.1%)
  • 37.8% said they had no religion (36.7%)

Official statistics are available on these topics at Scottish Borders level or below.  If you study or are part of a community group in the Scottish Borders and don't see what you need, or you need help accessing this information, contact the Research and Information Team using the contact details below.  

Research and Data in the Scottish Borders

Research and information team

Contact the Corporate Performance and Information Research and Information Team for demographics research-related enquiries

Address: Council Headquarters
Newtown St. Boswells

Telephone: 01835 824000