Nearly half of Scotland's wealth is held by 10 per cent of households, a new report has found. 

It also showed that living standards in Scotland have seen an "unprecedented stagnation” since 2010 which has had a negative impact on the population's health

The Health Inequalities in Scotland report, by the Fraser of Allander Institute at the University of Strathclyde, explores trends in Scotland since 1999 in the key factors that influence health.

It revealed 45% of the country's wealth was held by a tenth of households - with health being closely linked to financial security. Economic factors such as the quality of housing and the local environment, education, and employment were all cited as having an impact on health. 

Typical weekly earnings in Scotland were found to be around £80 per week below what they would have been had long-running trends before 2010 continued.

David Eiser, deputy director at Fraser of Allander Institute and author of the report, said the health of a population is shaped by "social and economic circumstances".

He said: "Scotland’s economy, like the UK’s, has been characterised by high levels of inequality for many decades. Since 2010, the economy has also been characterised by stagnating earnings growth and flatlining living standards.

“The similarities between Scotland’s economic and health trends are striking.

“Stagnation of improvement in incomes and living standards has coincided with a slowing of improvement on some health outcomes, including life expectancy and healthy life expectancy, and an increasing prevalence of mental health issues.

“The links between the economy and health are complex and work both ways.

“We’ve seen this in the context of Covid (where socio-economic circumstances influenced vulnerability to the disease), and the current cost-of-living crisis – which has the potential to affect health in a number of ways."

The work has been funded by the Health Foundation working with Scottish research partners and an expert advisory group.

David Finch, assistant director at the Health Foundation, said: “Today’s report represents a comprehensive attempt to map and assess trends in a wide range of the socioeconomic determinants of health in Scotland including incomes and poverty, wealth and debt, employment and education, housing and more.

“Across these areas the message is clear. Inequalities are high, and progress has slowed. Addressing socioeconomic inequalities and improving living standards will be key to making meaningful progress towards improving the health of Scotland.”

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