Children and young people: key points

  • These webpages primarily signpost to data and information presented elsewhere on the ScotPHO website about children and young people. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Article 1) states: "For the purposes of the present Convention, a child means every human being below the age of eighteen years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier."     
  • In Scotland a person is legally a child until aged 18 years (Children (Scotland) Act 1995). Further information is available on the NHS Health Scotland - Age webpages.
  • In line with the above, for these webpages unless otherwise specified, ‘children’ means all people aged 0-17 years and ‘young people’ includes 18-24 year olds.
  • Trends in relative and absolute child poverty changed from 1998-99 to 2015-16. At the start of that time relative poverty affected a higher proportion of children than absolute poverty, recently the gap has closed.
  • The HBSC survey shows socio-economic inequalities are still widespread, with a higher prevalence of positive health outcomes and behaviours among adolescents from more affluent families.

Section updates:

  • The last major update of this section was completed in September 2017.
  • The next major update is due to be carried out by end June 2018.