Glasgow has been ranked as the poorest city in the UK by researchers who have mapped out a "census atlas".
Glasgow comes out badly in the poverty report
The experts at Sheffield University said their findings were proof that the north-south divide was getting worse.
They found that 41% of Glasgow households were living in poverty, the city was suffering population decline and unskilled worker numbers were up.
Communities Minister Margaret Curran said she was aware of the problem and wanted to tackle it head on.
She told BBC Radio Scotland: "The deep trends have been turning around since 1997 where we are reducing the gap between rich and poor and we are
tackling levels of absolute poverty.
"I would obviously accept that is not enough - but we are beginning to turn it around."
The researchers mapped the change in everything from age and gender to qualifications and employment.
The work was based on comparing census data from 2001 with that collected 10 years before.
They claim that the UK is a kingdom united only by history and increasingly divided by its geography.
Most major cities outside London have experienced a decline in population and Glasgow's is down by 8% .
The research appeared to confirm NCH Scotland findings earlier this month which showed that many parents in low income families were going hungry in order to feed their children.
This latest research showed that people living in the south are likely to be better educated and earn more than their northern counterparts.
They are also less likely to suffer from a long-term illness than those in the
north, but have more doctors to treat them.
Ms Curran said government needed to boost skills, education, employment and housing in order to tackle poverty.
She pointed out the problem of poverty existed across Britain, according to the study, not just in Glasgow.
The poorest local authority areas in 1991 - Hackney and Tower Hamlets in
London - continued to be the poorest 10 years later.
Almost half the homes in these boroughs live in poverty, up 9% and 7.5%
respectively on 1991.
But outside the capital, Glasgow is the worst.
Leader of the Scottish Socialists Tommy Sheridan described the north-south
divide as a "damning indictment" of the failure of the executive to tackle
poverty, when after five years Glasgow was "sinking into the poverty trap".
He said: "All we get from ministers like Margaret Curran are platitudes and
buzzwords about tackling poverty when the research shows that the situation
facing Scotland's poor is getting worse."