Fife #Equalityfacts: DECEMBER 2018 Summary

Fife Centre for Equalities publishes every six months updated equality statistics to support organisations in their ‘due regard’ for advancing equality by fostering openness and transparency about known and enduring patterns of inequality. The points below are highlights of some equality issues we are noticing and bringing attention to. For more details, you can find the latest version of the full report online at:


Fife Equality Statistics





You can also download the information below in a single document here:

FCE Summary EqualityFacts DEC2018 


Please note:
 we recognise that this report is limited in depth and we are also aware of several data gaps in equality evidence. We welcome and encourage contributions to improve accuracy, raise awareness and understanding of issues not presented here. If you would like to tell us about your experiences of barriers to equality, tell us through our Community Concerns Register.


Age is not a defined by the Equality Act as a specific age group. It could be narrow or wide, or it could be relative, for example ‘younger than me’ can be a particular age or can be persons of a specific age (for example 40-year olds) or those belonging to a specific age group (for example 0-15 or 16-64-year-olds).

·         Diminishing community cohesion
In 2017, there was a drop recorded by the Scottish Household Survey in the proportion of people reporting to belong ‘Very Strongly’ to their community. This compares to 2016 when the strength of belonging to community was reported lower in the 16-39 age group and ‘Not Very Strong’ for the 40-59s and 60+ in Fife compared to Scotland as a whole.

·         Lower crime overall, except for sexual crimes and discrimination in working age
The rate of recorded crime in Fife tends to be lower than the national level across all types of crime, with the exception of Sexual Crimes, which is at a rate of 30 recorded per 10000 population.


·         An additional 11% of households struggling financially
Fife households overall report to be managing less well than in the previous year (54% in 2017, compared to 65% in 2016) and the 65+ age group remains relatively better off (69% compared to 67% nationally), however this is noticeably lower than the 78% recorded in 2016.

·         Child poverty gap at 30.9%
The child poverty gap between the 10% most deprived and 10% least deprived areas in Fife is at -30.9%, dropping from 31.1% last year. This level is comparable to the national child poverty gap of -32.3%.

·         Access to health and dental care
Untreated dental decay is a persisting issue in Fife with 24% of P1 children with current decay in 2018, which is slightly above the national average.  Data for P7 children is also consistent for this, with 32.72% of children inspected requiring to seek dental care in the near future due to history of tooth decay (i.e. receiving B letters from the NHS board). This compares with 2017 when across Scotland, 9.5% of P7 children had untreated decay, with the lowest being 1.6% in NHS Orkney to the highest being 14.4% in NHS Fife. 

·         Ongoing issue in employment of younger people
Despite being the most highly educated generation in history, young people still systemically struggle in the labour market. This is a consistent pattern in Fife and at the national level[1]. The claimant count is high locally across all age groups, but this is higher for those aged 18-21 (5.8%) and also in to the 18-24 age group (5.5%).

·         Increase in Fifers of the 16-39 age group reporting experiencing discrimination
There was an increase in reported experiences of discrimination in the 16-39 age group from 9% in 2016 to 14% in 2017.

[1] Scottish government (2017) The Life Chances of Young People in Scotland

·         Increase in Fifers of the 16-39 age group reporting experiencing discrimination
There was an increase in reported experiences of discrimination in the 16-39 age group from 9% in 2016 to 14% in 2017. Across other age groups this has adjusted to meet the lower national average, e.g. 40-59 age group reported in 2016 a lower experience of discrimination and harassment than Scotland on average (2% vs 7%) and by 2017 this was identical at 6%.

·         Wages increasing slowly for full-time workers
By end 2018, people of working age who live in Fife were paid on average £543.40 per week for full time workers, less than Scotland’s average of £562.70 per week. A higher proportion in Fife of 18-24-year-olds are claiming benefits (5.5% vs 3.8% at Scotland level) and also 5.5% of 18-21 year-olds, increasing from May 2018. 

·         Financial insecurity during working age
The 16-39 bracket was more likely to ‘get by’ (46%) or not manage well (10%), compared to households of older (65+) people, of which 69% managed well financially.


·         Diminishing community cohesion
In 2017, there was a drop recorded by the Scottish Household Survey in the proportion of people reporting to belong ‘Very Strongly’ to their community. This compares to 2016 when the strength of belonging to community was reported lower in the 16-39 age group and ‘Not Very Strong’ for the 40-59s and 60+ in Fife compared to Scotland as a whole.


·         Health Inequality in older age by SIMD
There is also a marked difference in the number of emergency admissions of 65+ year olds, with 10,745 fewer admissions in 2015 in the 10% least deprived households in Fife compared to the most deprived. 

·         Services responding to older people’s needs despite cuts
People that are 65+ on average tend to report local services positively and that the local authority provides services designed for needs and does its best with money available; with lower scores for people in the 16-39 and 40-64 age groups.

·         Diminishing financial security for older people
In 2017, 69% of households in Fife for which the age highest income householder was 65+ managed well financially, which is higher than the national average (67%) but is a considerable drop from 78% in 2016. Gender effects are present in this distribution with 60% of males managing well vs 46% of females.


·         More care hours but fewer recipients
Home care clients receive on average more hours of care in Fife, at 17.1 compared to 11.7 in Scotland. However, the proportion of people aged 65+ receiving care is lower at 12.3 per 1000 in Fife compared 16.9 nationally.

The Equality Act defines disability as a physical or a mental condition which has a long-term impact on your ability to do normal day to day activities.It is known that Disability tends to increase with age, however disability is more common than thought as it is not always visible. Approximately 1 in 5 Fifers across all ages have their day-to-day activities limited, and after the age of 50, this becomes 1 in 4 people (26%). For those over 85, this become 4 out of 5 people. About 1 in 3 Fifers have one or more long-term conditions which may or may not be recognised as a disability. 


Also, we do not have at this time the detailed breakdown of attainment or destinations of disabled young people in Fife’s schools. It is however well-known that there is a gap reaching positive destinations after secondary school, with 87.2% of disabled young people across Scotland in 2015-2016, compared to 93.1% of all school leavers. This gap improved by 3% over the previous year cycle.

The average participation of young people aged 16-19 identified as disabled has improved and is at 81.3%, still lower than the mainstream average of 90.1%.


Fife has a slightly higher employment rate for people with a disability than Scotland as a whole (42.1% vs 41.9%). In 2017 17,200 disabled people were employed in Fife, equivalent to an additional 7,000 employees and representing a rate rise of +11.9% from 2016[*]. There has also been recorded a marked drop in economic inactivity of people aged 16-64 with a disability in the same time period, of -13.9% and giving a figure of 41.6%. This is also significantly lower than the national average of 49.2%.

[*] Please note that introduction of Universal Credit has a major impact on these figures as more claimants are required to look for work than under Jobseeker’s Allowance. The number of people recorded as being on the Claimant Count therefore would rise.

Up to 1060 people with learning disability were not in employment between 2017- 2018 in Fife, compared to 1070 in 2016-2017. Employment opportunities for people with learning disability was higher in Fife in 2016-2017, being at 7.6% compared to 4.2% nationally. There are some noticeable patterns across age groups such as the increase employment rate of Equality Act disabled people in the 35-49 (+5.6%) and 50-64 (+3.6%) age groups, and a more marked drop (-6.9%) the 25-34 age group.

In Fife in the past year (2018), 89.1% of adults with Learning Disability had a Personal Living Plan, well above the national average of 64.7%. 

For people diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Fife, 26.02% are diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (vs 14.35% national average). 


Advocacy is used by 13.1% of adults with learning disability in Fife, which is noticeably higher than the national average of 5.4%.

Adults with a learning disability in Fife also have a slightly higher attendance rate at day centres for this group at 24.2% (vs 17.3% nationally). In parallel, there was an increase (from 1.7% in 2016) level of use of Local Area Coordination to 2%, compared to 17.7% across Scotland.

Fife performs over twice as well as the national average (76.5% vs 29.5%) in finding alternative opportunities and further education places (10.0% vs 4.4%) for adults with learning difficulties.

In Fife, partial data shows that there were 18 charges reported for disability aggravated crime (7 in Dunfermline, 11 in Kirkcaldy) in 2017-2018, a slight increase from the previous year (14). Across Scotland this has increased overall, from 40 in 2010 to 284 in 2017, nearly an additional 100 charges from the previous year. The number of people convicted with disability aggravations decreased in the previous year 2016-2017 by 21%

A person has the protected characteristic of Gender Reassignment if the person is proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of reassigning the person’s sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex. The terms ‘gender reassignment’ and ‘transsexual’ are used in the Equality Act 2010, however following the Women and Equalities Committee 2016, the preferred term is trans.

 This is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from their birth sex, including transsexual people, transvestite / cross-dressing people (those who wear clothing traditionally associated with the other gender either occasionally or more regularly), androgyne / polygender people (those who have non-binary gender identities and do not identify as male or female), and others who define as gender variant.

In Fife, transgender aggravated crime has remained low other the past 10 years, while across Scotland it has increased overall. Only 2 charges were reported in 2017-2018 in Kirkcaldy, while 49 were reported nationally.

There is no clear data on how many trans people live, work or study in Fife, we know that approximately 1 in 100 people may be experiencing some degree of gender variance and that around 1 in 500 may undergo transition. With Fife’s population, this means that between 740 and 3710 people may be gender variant with in-between 150 and 740 who may consider transition. In any year, between 20 and 90 people might approach their doctor to discuss transition and that between 2 to 11 people may commence the process. It is important to note these are rough estimates.

The Equality Act defines the protected characteristic of Marriage & Civil partnership as applying to people who are legally married or who are in a civil partnership. This does not cover single people, divorcees, fiancés, cohabitees, and so on[1].


Marriage is legally recognised between partners of different sex (e.g. a man and a woman) or of the same sex. Civil partnership is between partners of the same sex. In Scotland, the Scottish Parliament has legislated to allow same-sex marriages (see Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014).


Marriage and civil partnership discrimination applies to workplace discrimination. If you are treated unfairly outside the workplace because you’re married or in a civil partnership, it is not categorised as unlawful discrimination under the Equality Act. Marriages have been decreasing in Scotland (almost by a third over the past 40 years). Following the 2014 Marriage and Civil Partnership Act, the uptake of civil partnerships has levelled at around 70 per year in Scotland.

The majority of people in Fife are married or in a civil partnership (49%) and married or civil-partnership households make up 34.2% of households in Fife.

In 2017, 1,568 opposite sex marriages, 47 same sex marriages and 1 Male Civil Partnership took place in Fife.

Pregnancy is the condition of being pregnant. Maternity refers to the period after the birth and is linked to maternity leave in the employment context. The protected period covers in non-work cases the whole of a woman’s pregnancy as well as 26 weeks following the birth (or stillbirth after more than 24 weeks of pregnancy).

In work cases, the protected period commences when a woman becomes pregnant and ends either two weeks after the end of the pregnancy or, if entitled to ordinary and additional maternity leave, at the end of that period or when she returns to work if that is earlier
[1]. Maternity discrimination includes treating a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding.

[1] EHRC (March 2017) Equality Act 2010 – Handbook for Advisors [Scotland] p8

There were 3465 live births reported in Fife in 2017 of which 1788 were male and 1677 female.

Fife has a slightly higher birth-rate than Scotland as a whole (10.2 vs 10.1 per 1000). Fife had a rate of teenage pregnancy of 36.5, which was still higher than the national average (32.4) and a marked reduction over a period of 10 years from a high figure of 66.9 in 2007. 

Race is a group of people defined by their race, colour, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origins refers[1]. Data used in monitoring tends to be based on Office of National Statistics questions for ethnicity and therefore is often referred to as ‘Ethnicity’.



There are many aspects to race, including ethnic and racial groups – an individual can belong to one or many racial groups, such as British Asians and/or British Sikhs, or British Irish and/or Romany Gypsies / Irish Traveller.



The Scottish Government’s Race Equality Framework for Scotland recognises that people from minority ethnic communities tends to face poorer outcomes than average across generations, this includes lower employment rates, higher risk of poverty, under-representation in public life and day-to-day experiences of racism that may also involve hate crime or incidents[2].

Estimates from 2018 indicate that around 11000 Fifers are non-British (3% of the population), of which around 7000 are from the EU (1.9%) and 4000 are non-EU nationals (1.1%). This is consistently less than half the Scottish averages of 6.7% being non-British, of which 4.2% are EU nationals and 2.5% non-EU.

81.9% of Fife’s population ethnicity being ‘White Scottish’ (compared to 78.1% nationally) and consistently lower proportions for other groups. Of note is the Asian ethnicity increased to 2.5% nationally and 1.9% in Fife, becoming the most common (non-white) minority ethnic group. Only 2.9% of Fifers use a language other than English at home.

The average participation of 16-19 year olds in Fife in 2018 was 90.1%, and tends to be higher for young people of Mixed or multiple, Asian, African, Caribbean or Black ethnicity at 94.2% and lower for White ethnicity.

Modern Apprenticeships starts in the previous year in Fife who self-identified as being from a Mixed or Multiple; Asian; African; Caribbean or Black; and Other ethnic group is 0.6%

Employment rate statistics for ethnic minorities in the Mid Scotland and Fife region show a fall of -13% in the period 2015 to 2016 which was the highest change across Scotland. This is then followed by a fall of -3.1% in 2016-2017 to 53.1%.

In Fife, partial data shows that there were 202 charges reported for racially aggravated crime (83 in Dunfermline, 119 in Kirkcaldy) in 2017-2018, increasing from the previous year (190). Across Scotland this has decreased from the highest in 2011 (4547) to 3,249 in 2017.

In May 2018, there were 97 refugees in total in Fife, 37 of which were children and 6 were born in Scotland.

Religion has the meaning usually given to it and includes lack of religion, and Belief includes religious and philosophical beliefs (such as humanism) and includes lack of belief[1]

Generally, a belief should affect one’s life choices or the way that one lives for it to be included in the definition. The Equality Act also points out that a belief must also be worthy of respect in a democratic society and not affect other people’s fundamental rights.

Religions in Fife include Christianity (Church of Scotland, Roman Catholic, other Christian), Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Baha’i and Judaism.

The 2011 census showed that, as across Scotland and the UK, Fife has seen a decrease in the proportion of people who said that they belonged to a Christian denomination in the last ten years –  from 56% in 2001 to 45.3% in 2011. People in Fife who said that they had “No Religion” increased from 35.4% in 2001 to 46.3% in 2011. Those who stated that they had “No religion”, were most common for all age groups up to 50-54, with the highest concentrations in the 0-9 and 25-34 age groups.

In Scotland, the number of people convicted with religious aggravations increased in 2016-2017 by 12%. In Fife, partial data shows that there were 29 charges reported for religiously aggravated crime (18 in Dunfermline, 11 in Kirkcaldy) in 2017-2018, a marked increase on the previous year (18). Across Scotland this has decreased from a high in 2011 (896) to 642 in 2017. The number of people convicted with religious aggravations increased in 2016-2017 by 12%.

51.5% of Fifers are female and 48.5% are male. The median age of females is 42 and that of males is 41. In Fife, life expectancy at birth was higher for females (81.2 years) than for males (77.6 years) in 2014-16. In Fife, life expectancy at birth is higher than at Scotland level for both females and males.

Men in Fife are expected to live an average of 13.6 years in a ‘not healthy’ condition, similar to Scotland’s average of 13.5 years and women in Fife are expected to live an average of 15.7 years in a ‘not healthy’ condition, similar to Scotland’s average of 15.6 years.

Across young people aged 16-19 in Scotland, females are more likely to be participating compared to males (92.5% vs 91.2% for males), despite a higher count of males in this age bracket. A similar pattern can be seen in Fife, with females participating more than males and this has been consistent over the past two years.  In November 2018, there was a higher proportion of male claimants in Fife (4.7%) than females (2.0%). To note is that under Universal Credit there is a broader span of claimants are required to look for work than under Jobseeker’s Allowance. As Universal Credit Full Service was rolled out in Fife, the number of people recorded as being on the Claimant Count also rose.

People of working age in Fife are paid on average £482.4 per week, which is somewhat less than Scotland’s average of £530.0 per week, however gross weekly pay has increased by 4.9% compared to 2.6% nationally in the past year. The highest increase was for female part-time employees, with a change of +9.7%. Figures for part-time male employees were too low to be measured reliably.  Those figures indicate a gender paygap between male and female workers at national level to be £198.1 weekly (£10301.20 per year before tax) and in Fife of £156.60 weekly (£8143.2 per year before tax), when comparing all types of employment. For full-time employment, the paygap in Fife is £77.6 per week (£4035.20) per year, and £115.5 nationally (£6006 per year). For part-time employment, there is a pay advantage (i.e. women earn on average more than men) of £36.5 weekly (£1898 per year).

In Fife in 2017/2018 there were 4418 domestic abuse incidents recorded by the police, with 411 high risk cases were discussed at MARAC. This compares to 2016/2017 in Fife, 4,425 domestic abuse incidents were reported to the Police. Out of 302 case discussions at MARAC for the highest risk domestic abuse cases, 301 involved female victims, 3 same sex partners / ex-partners (2 female and 1 male).  571 involved children, with 66 child protection concerns noted (including 17 unborn babies).

The Equality Act defines sexual orientation as including how you choose to express your sexual orientation, such as through your appearance or the cultural and social activities you choose, such as places you visit. Protection from discrimination relates to feelings as well as actions and manifestations (e.g. appearance, dress, social life etc)[1]. Sexual orientation described as being towards people of the same sex, the opposite sex or of either sex.


Data used in monitoring this usually based on allowing respondents to self-define as belonging to one of the following categories: Heterosexual or straight; Gay or Lesbian; Bisexual or Other.

The SSCQ 2018 estimate reports 1.8% people identifying as LGB & other and 95.36% identifying reporting as Heterosexual nationally. In Fife, this was 1.6% (a +0.3% increase, giving an approximate figure of number of 4900) and 96.2% as heterosexual.

More recent estimates from the NRS population and the Stonewall and Scottish Government LGBT estimates, gives an approximate LGBT population in Fife as being between 18570 and 26000 people.

The number of charges reported increased by 3% in 2017-18 to 1,112.

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