What are the main social problems affecting the city of glasgow, Scotland?
Scotland has the highest homicide
rate in Western Europe and the sixth highest in the world. But
here’s a curious thing: If you remove Scotland’s largest city
Glasgow from the statistical mix, Scotland’s murder rate drops so
sharply that it’s barely on par with the UK.
As the site chosen for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow is clearly establishing an international reputation as an economic and cultural hub. But the city will never achieve its full potential unless the problems of poverty, unemployment, educational under achievement and drug and alcohol abuse that beset so many of its residents are tackled.
The Cycle of Poverty and Unemployment
The contrast between the quality of life for residents of Glasgow’s
east end and western areas is staggering. The average life
expectancy for males living in the Glasgow east end, Bridgeton and
Queenslie neighbourhoods is 54 years, and 60% of the children living
there live in households well below the poverty line. In contrast,
residents of Glasgow’s upscale and sophisticated West End live to be
80 and virtually none of them are on the dole.
Unemployment is particularly acute among
Glasgow’s young people: 18% of all 16 to 19 year olds are neither in
school nor employed. A 2008 report published by the Centre For
Social Justice noted that there are 170 teenage gangs in Glasgow,
the same number that has been counted in London, a city six times
Lack of Educational Opportunities
More than one in five working age Glaswegians lack any sort of education that might qualify them for a job. Glasgow had the lowest number of students performing at Standard levels of educational achievement in all of Scotland, and one-third fewer students pursuing higher education.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Glasgow has the highest incidence of liver diseases secondary to alcohol abuse in all of Scotland; indeed in some areas of Glasgow, like the east end district of Dennistoun, these illnesses kill more people than heart attacks and lung cancer put together. Drug-related mortality has increased by 95% since 1997, and it’s been estimated that over 6,000 children live in households where family members use drugs – a fact which makes these children seven times more likely to end up using drugs themselves.
Glasgow has the highest crime rate in Scotland. This should not be surprising: a population marginalized by poverty, unemployment and a lack of educational opportunities often sees crime as its only avenue for economic advancement.
Copyright Darron Blair, 2010