Food insecurity

The proportion of adults reporting that, at some point in the previous 12 months, they were worried they would run out of food because of a lack of money or other resources. Find out more about this indicator.

The percentage of adults worried about running out of food has remained the same between 2018 and 2019, with 9% of adults reporting being worried about running out of food.

Since data collection began in 2017,

  • food insecurity has consistently varied by age, with a higher prevalence among younger people (16-44) than older people (75+).
  • food insecurity has consistently been more prevalent among adults with a limiting longstanding illness (18% in 2019) than adults with a non-limiting longstanding illness (6% in 2019) and no limiting illness (5% in 2019).
  • food insecurity has consistently been more prevalent among adults living in low income households. In 2019, 23% of adults with household incomes in the bottom quintile (less than ¬£14,444/year) reported experiencing food insecurity compared to 3% of adults with household incomes in the top quintile (more than ¬£49,400/year).
  • prevalence of food insecurity has consistently been higher among adults living in the most deprived areas compared to those living in the least deprived areas. In 2019, there was a 10pp gap in the prevalence of food insecurity among adults in most deprived areas and the least deprived areas.
  • the prevalence of food insecurity has consistently varied by household type. Households with the highest prevalence are single parents (31% based on combined 2018 and 2019 data) and working-age single adults (20% based on combined 2018 and 2019 data).

The prevalence of food insecurity between men and women is comparable. In 2019, there was no difference between men and women (9%).

This indicator can be broken down by age, equivalised income, gender, household type, limiting longstanding illness and Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. These breakdowns can be viewed on the Equality Evidence Finder.

Data for this indicator is available for 2020. However, please note that the 2020 results are not directly comparable to results for previous years, which is why the indicator shows "performance to be confirmed". Data for 2020, and further information can be viewed here.

Performance to be confirmed

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