Latest update: 24 August 2022


This indicator shows the percentage of adults in Scotland who rate their neighbourhood as a very good place to live.

Source of Data:

This data is from the Scottish Household Survey (SHS), a large, continuous survey conducted throughout Scotland. The SHS is a National Statistics product. Scottish Government are the owners of the data.

Updates will be available from annual SHS reports, generally in September of each year. The SHS Website is at The most recent SHS report was published 28 January 2022 and can be found at

This indicator is an indirect measure of neighbourhood satisfaction through the survey question 'Thinking now about the neighbourhood you live in, how would you rate it as a place to live?'. The rating that residents give to their neighbourhoods is a good indication of how satisfied they are with them, overall, as places to live. Rating by residents will allow for the different attributes that different types of resident look for in their local neighbourhood.

The indicator's value is calculated as follows: Number of people who respond 'very good' / Total adult population (based on SHS). The unit of measurement is the percentage of all random adults surveyed who respond 'very good' to this question.

From 2012, local authority level data is available annually (previously, biennially).  Estimates are subject to sampling error and, particularly for small councils, will give only a broad indication of change at local authority level. Some councils may choose to gather similar data through local surveys of their residents though differences in data collection methods may make comparisons of these data difficult.

As a result to the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 SHS survey responses were collected differently as in previous years. The 2020 SHS responses were collected through remote telephone and video links interviewing. This introduced a response bias and a certain degree of measurement error which makes the 2020 data difficult to compare with previous years, as one can’t necessarily discern where differences are a result of a different data collection method versus real changes in attitudes.


Neighbourhood is defined as "the street you live in and the streets nearby" (in urban areas) and as "the local area" (in rural areas).

Criteria for Change:

The evaluation is based on: any difference within +/- 1.5 percentage points of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. An increase of 1.5 percentage points or more suggests the position is improving; whereas a decrease of 1.5 percentage points or more suggests the position is worsening.

Please note: The criteria for this indicator changed before the 2014 data point was assessed. This was because, using Scottish Household Survey data where the figure is around the 50th percentile, a change of around 1.5 percentage points is likely to be statistically significant and not due to sampling error. Given this, the Technical Assessment Group decided that a threshold of 1.5 percentage point is more appropriate for this indicator than the previous threshold of 0.5 percentage points. This would not have had an effect on the current performance assessment.

For information on general methodological approach, please click here.

Future Issues or Reviews:

From 2020, a new data collection method was developed for the Scottish Household Survey (SHS). Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the survey methodology changed from in-home face-to-face interviewing to remote telephone or video link interviewing.

This resulted in changes to the profile of responding sample (non-response bias) and changes to how questions are asked and answered (measurement error). In the 2020 SHS sample, respondents were more likely to be older, living in less deprived areas, and in owner-occupation. Weighting is used to mitigate these effects. Additionally, the design of the questionnaire was not ideal for interviewing by telephone or video which will have had some effect on some estimates. The 2020 SHS collected a smaller sample size than in previous years, meaning that confidence intervals around the estimates are wider.

Due to these changes, 2020 results are difficult to compare with previous years. This is because it is not possible to identify whether any changes from 2020 and previous years are due to real changes in people’s views and experiences or due to sampling and measurement errors. Nonetheless, the change in data collection method strategy has not impacted the quality of 2020 data.

For more information on the SHS 2020 methodology and its implications, please click here.

From January 2012, a new SHS went in to the field which had a substantially restructured sample design and integrated the previous Scottish House Condition Survey (SHCS). The overall sample size reduced from around 14,000 household interviews to about 10,500 though improvements in efficiency of the survey design mean it is possible to produce local authority estimates on an annual basis where sample sizes permits. While the overall sample size of the survey has reduced, the survey design improvements has meant that the precision of estimates have not been affected significantly.

The question on disability was changed in quarter 4 of 2012 which has resulted in a break in the time-series for neighbourhood rating and disability from 2013 onwards. 

From 2013 two questions are now asked:

(1) Do you have a physical or mental health condition or illness lasting or expected to last 12 months or more?

(2) If yes, to what extend does your condition or illness reduce your ability to carry out day to day activities.

A respondent has been included as ‘Yes’ in the Disability breakdown if they answered ‘Yes’ to the first question and either ‘Yes, a lot’ or ‘Yes, a little’ to the second question.

In SHS 2018, the question on gender was non-binary and the responses were: ‘Man’, ‘Woman’, ‘Identified in another way’ and ‘Refused’. The addition of two new responses allows those who identify as neither a man nor a woman the option to respond accurately and honestly. In previous years, the question on gender was binary and only two response options were available to respondents: male and female.

As the questions have always reported gender based on what respondents tell interviewers, there has been little change to the concept behind the question being asked. Biological sex is not collected and has never been asked in the SHS.

Due to low sample sizes, disaggregate data is not available for this indicator for those who responded to the gender question as ‘Identified in another way’ or ‘Refused’.


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