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  • Latest Scottish Household Survey 2018 published

    Created: 11/09/2019, Updated: 12/09/2019

    The latest Scottish Household Survey [SHS], also known as Scotland's People Annual Report, has just been published. In its nineteenth consecutive year it provides robust data on a wide range of different topics, including housing, neighbourhoods, sport and physical activity, internet use/digital engagement, views on local services, culture, the environment, and volunteering, at both national and local authority level. It is the largest social survey of people across Scotland providing information about peoples’ experiences, views, attitudes and behaviours. 

    Key Findings Report

    Importantly for the third sector key statistics are collected around Volunteering in Scotland:

    In 2018, 48% of adults provided unpaid help through formal and/or informal volunteering with 26% of adults doing so through formal volunteering roles and 36% through informal roles. Women still make up the greater proportion of the volunteer and the levels of volunteering increases as area deprivation decreases. The most common types of organisations which volunteers helped with were ‘youth or children's activities outside schools’, ‘local community or neighbourhood groups’ and ‘children’s education and schools’ while levels of formal volunteering increased as area deprivation decreased. 

    The most common unpaid activities were ‘keeping in touch with someone who is at risk of being lonely’, ‘babysitting or looking after children’, ‘doing shopping, collecting pension, collecting benefits or paying bills’ and ‘routine household chores’.

    Interestingly 91% of adults in Scotland strongly agreed that they would help their neighbours in an emergency.

    Other headlines this year include:


    There is a growing concern about climate change with almost two thirds of adults viewing climate change as an immediate and urgent problem. The greatest increase is among adults aged 16-24, rising from 38% in 2013 to 67% in 2018.


    The proportion of women in work has increased since 1999, narrowing the gap between the number of men and women currently in work. Men were employed predominantly full-time (58%) or self-employed (10%), while the employment of women showed greater variation; 40% were employed full-time, and 21% were employed part-time.

    Over half of households (55%) reported they managed well financially in 2018, an increase of 13 percentage points since 1999 however recent levels suggest a period of recovery following the dip between 2007 and 2012. Households in more deprived areas were less likely to say they were managing well financially. The gap between the 20% most and least deprived areas has not changed much over time. Perceptions of managing financially varied with household tenure with those in the social and private rented sectors the most likely to report not managing well. Similarly, single adult and single parent households were the most likely to report they were not managing well financially in 2018.

    Neighbourhoods and Communities

    Whilst neighbourhoods were rated positively overall, the strength of view varied with those in rural areas rating their neighbourhoods higher than those in cities. 83% of adults believe their neighbourhood is one where people are kind to each other (this perception improved with age) and the majority of adults (57%) of adults rated their neighbourhood as a very good place to live. 

    Overall positive neighbourhood rating increased as area deprivation decreased. The proportion of people living in the 20% most deprived areas who rate their neighbourhood as very good has increased over the last decade. The gap between the most and least deprived areas has slightly narrowed since 2006.

    8% of adults reported that they had experienced discrimination and 6% of adults reported that they had experienced harassment in Scotland at some point over the last twelve months.


    Internet access in homes is high, and continuing to increase and the gap in connectivity is narrowing between lower and higher income households

    National Performance Framework indicators covered in the SHS:

    • Satisfaction with housing
    • Perceptions of local area
    • Places to interact
    • Social Capital
    • Loneliness
    • Public services treat people with dignity and respect
    • Quality of public services
    • Influence over local decisions
    • Visits to the outdoors
    • Access to green and blue space
    • Attendance at cultural events or places of culture
    • Participation in a cultural activity


    Scottish household survey 2018: Annual report here

    Key Findings Report

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