Aberdeen has a wealthy image due to the oil industry
The fluctuations of wealth in the North East and Northern Isles in recent decades have been revealed as part of a major nationwide study for the BBC.
The level of people described as "breadline poor" in 2000 has now returned to the levels of 1970.
The overall figure for Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray was 25.8%, a slight rise above the 1970 figure of 25.7% after a dip to 18.4% in 1980.
The breadline poverty figures were 27.4% in Shetland and 23.5% in Orkney.
The breadline poverty figure for Shetland was 27.1% in 1970, 18.7% in 1980 and 23.1% in 1990.
In Orkney, 22.2% of households were breadline poor in 1970, compared to 16% in 1980 and 19.4% in 1990.
However, those said to be "asset wealthy" in the north east of Scotland rose to 19.4% in 2000, up from 14.6% in 1990 and 17.3% in 1980.
The population for Aberdeen fell by 2.6% between 1981 and 2006, but Aberdeenshire's was up 25.1%, with Moray rising by 3.9%.
Shetland's population was said to have decreased by 1.7%, with Orkney up 3.1%.
Average property prices in 2006 were said to be £149,000 in Aberdeenshire, £132,000 in Aberdeen, £129,000 in Shetland, £117,000 in Moray and £103,000 in Orkney.
Rita Stephen, development manager of Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future (Acsef), said: "Aberdeen City and Shire is one of the most prosperous regional economies in the UK, consistently out-performing national indicators of growth.
"Average earnings are among the highest in the UK and well above the Scottish average. However, we are well aware that there are small pockets in the region which do not benefit from this economic prosperity.
"As the driver of economic growth, Acsef and its partners are continually seeking way to better connect these communities to economic opportunities. Through a collaborative approach we will have more impact in terms of ensuring our poorer communities can profit from the high levels of growth and opportunity in the region."
The Changing UK research was carried out by a team from the University of Sheffield.
It was headed by Prof Danny Dorling, an expert on human geography and social change.
It generally found that areas nationally that were already wealthy had tended to become disproportionally wealthier, and areas that experienced high levels of relative poverty saw those levels increase.
The overall proportions of electors not voting at general elections has risen steadily, the research also found.