This thesis, motivated by the paucity of previous research in this subject area, describes an attempt to better understand the extent of poverty in rural Scotland and how the factors associated with that poverty may differ in the rest of the country. By identifying factors showing association uniquely with rural as opposed to urban poverty so policy decisions on targeted rural poverty alleviation could be made. Few such factors appear to have been tested formally for their association with poverty in rural Scotland. Using data from British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) datasets I create an income-based measure to compare levels of poverty across the rurality domain for the general population and several sub-populations. I also test the levels of association that factors found in the literature exhibit with households being in poverty, entering poverty and exiting poverty in both rural and non-rural Scotland. In so doing I highlight some of the data limitations within BHPS, particularly in the number of households in the remote and rural categories of the Scottish Government rural classification system.
Under the current Scottish Government rural classification system it is evident that poverty in rural Scotland is lower than in the rest of the country. However, in-work poverty and fuel poverty are significantly higher in rural Scotland, where fluctuations in household fuel prices also appear to have a much quicker impact on poverty levels and levels of workless households than in the rest of the country. This thesis identifies evidence that the current definition of rural Scotland excludes parts of Scotland typically described as rural, with the result that the high levels of poverty in these areas goes unreported in most rural poverty analysis. Areas for further research are suggested, as is an alternative regional typology that may better reflect differences in poverty related factors across Scotland.