Clean seas

This indicator measures the percentage of biogeographic regions with acceptably low levels of contaminants. Find out more about this indicator.

The proportion of contaminant assessments in Scottish marine waters showing concentrations that are unlikely to harm marine organisms has not changed, with 93% of contaminant assessments in Scottish marine waters showing concentrations that are unlikely to harm marine organisms.

Performance Maintaining

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Condition of Protected Nature Sites

This indicator reports the percentage of natural features on protected nature sites found to be in favourable condition. Find out more about this indicator.

By the end of March 2023, 76.4% of natural features were assessed as being in a favourable condition, 1.4 percentage points lower than recorded in March 2022 and 0.4 percentage points higher than recorded in 2007. Please note the difference in percentage points is calculated from the unrounded data and so may differ slightly from the difference between the figures when rounded to one decimal place.

Performance Worsening

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Biodiversity

This indicator is a combination of trends for three measures of Scottish species, index of abundance of marine species (based on seabirds), index of abundance of terrestrial species and index of occupancy of terrestrial species. Find out more about this indicator.

All three measures were stable over the period 2015 to 2016. The index of abundance of marine species rose by 2.7%, the index of abundance of terrestrial species fell by 4.8% and the index of occupancy of terrestrial species rose by 0.8%.

Over the longer term, between 1994 and 2016, the index of abundance of marine species fell by 36%, the index of abundance of terrestrial species fell by 31% and the index of occupancy of terrestrial species rose by 24%. The marine elements of the indicator continue to be under development as new species data becomes available. Further information on marine biodiversity status can be found in the Scotland Marine Assessment 2020.

Quantitative data on changes to Scottish biodiversity prior to 1994 is not captured in the indicator. However, the State of Nature Scotland Report 2019, highlighted a sustained decline in biodiversity between 1970 and 1994 and concluded that these trends should be ‘viewed against a backdrop of profound historic human influences on nature in Scotland’.

The marine elements of the indicator continue to be under development as new species data becomes available. Further information on marine biodiversity status can be found in the Scotland Marine Assessment 2020.

Breakdowns for the three measures are available for the main taxonomic groups. These breakdowns can be viewed on the NatureScot website.

Performance Maintaining

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Energy from renewable sources

This indicator measures the percentage of energy consumption which comes from renewable energy sources. Find out more about this indicator.

In 2020, the amount of energy generated in Scotland by renewable sources was 25.4% of total energy consumption according to provisional figures. This was an increase of 1.4 percentage points compared with 24.0% in 2019.

Over the decade there has been a general increase in the amount of energy generated in Scotland by renewable sources from 7.6% in 2009 to 25.4% in 2020. 

2020 represents an increase of 1.4 percentage points compared to 2019.  The rise is largely attributed to greater renewable electricity generation - over 2,200 GWh extra renewable electricity generated between 2019 and 2020, much of this due to increased wind generation.

In 2020:

  • the amount of electricity generated in Scotland from renewable sources was 20.7% of total energy consumption
  • the amount of heat generated in Scotland from renewable sources was 3.2% of total energy consumption
  • the amount of transport in Scotland running on renewable sources was 1.5% of total energy consumption

This indicator can be broken down by energy type. This breakdown can be viewed on the Equality Evidence Finder.

Performance Improving

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State of historic sites

The percentage of pre-1919 dwellings (sites) classified as having disrepair to critical elements. Find out more about this indicator.

The proportion of 71% in 2019 is at a similar level to 2018 (73%). The 95% confidence intervals are +/- 4 percentage points for both 2018 and 2019, with sample sizes of 521 and 546 respectively.

The proportion of pre-1919 dwellings classified as having disrepair to critical elements gradually increased from 73% in 2007 to a peak of 80% in 2012. The proportion decreased by 12 percentage points to 68% in 2015, and remained at a similar level since then.

Data breakdowns

This indicator can be broken down by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation and urban/rural classification. These breakdowns can be viewed on the Equality Evidence Finder or in the charts below.

Important information

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic data collection for the 2020 Scottish House Condition Survey (SHCS) was suspended as physical inspections were not possible. Due to this there was no 2020 SHCS publication.

The 2021 SHCS was carried out by an external-only inspection, supplemented with alternative sources of data (e.g. from the Energy Performance Certificate) and the householder providing information to surveyors via telephone. This external+ approach was designed to provide as reliable as possible estimates of key statistics, including on fuel poverty, energy efficiency and external repairs, while maintaining no contact with the household. No data was collected on internal aspects such as room repairs and aspects of housing standards. The key findings from the 2021 SHCS were published in May 2023. However, as the external+ approach did not collect data on internal aspects of the dwelling, it was not possible to update this indicator. This indicator requires data on disrepair to internal walls/partitions, the floor structure and finish and the presence of dry/wet rot which are collected as part of the internal inspection of the dwelling.

The 2022 SHCS returned to full in home surveying in April 2022. The next update to this indicator will be in January 2024 when we expect to publish the key findings from the 2022 SHCS.

Performance Maintaining

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The proportion of pre-1919 dwellings classified as having disrepair to critical elements is similar across SIMD deprivation areas, the exception to this is that dwellings in SIMD quintile 3 have a lower proportion of pre-1919 dwellings classified as having disrepair to critical elements compared to those in SIMD quintile 2; 64% compared to 78%.

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The proportion of pre-1919 dwellings classified as having disrepair to critical elements is similar across urban rural areas. While the proportion ranges between 61% and 76%, this is within the survey’s margin of error.

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Sustainability of Fish Stocks

This indicator measures the percentage of fish stocks fished sustainably. 

In 2020, an estimated 69 per cent of commercial fish stocks were fished at sustainable levels in Scottish waters. This represents an increase of 3 percentage points from 2019 and 35 percentage points from 2000. The percentage fished sustainably in 2020 is the highest level recorded since this data collection began (1991) and demonstrates the ongoing recovery of the commercial fish stocks. Note that the previously published headline figure for 2018 was 67% but all years of data are revised every time this series of indicators is updated. The revised 2018 figure, based on the most recent data is now 64%.

Find out more about this indicator.

Performance Improving

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Visits to the outdoors

Latest update: 29 January 2024

During 2022, 70% of adults are estimated to have visited the outdoors at least once a week. This is a marked increase compared to the previous comparable datapoint (56% in 2019) and the longer term trend, which was between 42% and 49% for the decade from 2006 to 2016, including a figure of 44% in 2006, the baseline year.

Data breakdown

This indicator can be broken down by age, gender, disability, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status, and urban/rural classification. These breakdowns can be viewed in the charts below and on the Equality Evidence Finder.

This indicator can also be broken down by local authority and self-perception of health, which can be found on the Equality Evidence Finder and are noted below:

  • In 2022 adults who reported their health to be good or very good were much more likely to visit the outdoors at least weekly (77%) than adults who reported their health to be bad or very bad (38%).

Important information

For 2022, 2019 and earlier years respondents were asked about their average frequency of visiting the outdoors “in the last twelve months”.

The 2020 and 2021 data was collected by telephone and video during 2021 and 2022, respectively, when restrictions on people’s activities were in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic and so prevented face-to-face interviewing. At that time, the question wording was changed to ask about outdoor visits “nowadays”. Face-to-face interviewing was resumed for the 2022 data and there was also a return to the original question wording.

The change to telephone and video interviewing for 2020 and 2021 means the data for these years are not comparable with data for 2022, 2019 and earlier years, and so are excluded from the time series. The National Indicator has been updated using the figures for 2019 and 2022.

Previously (from 2006 to 2012) this data was taken from the Scottish Recreation Survey. Both surveys were conducted in 2012, to check that results were comparable between the two surveys.

Performance Improving

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In 2022 adults aged 75+ were less likely to visit the outdoors at least once a week (50%) compared to younger age groups (78% for ages 25-34).  

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In 2022 there was no statistically significant difference between the proportion of men who visited the outdoors at least once a week and the corresponding proportion of women.

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In 2022 adults who did not have a disability were more likely to visits the outdoors at least weekly (76% of adults), compared to those who did have a disability (55% of adults). 

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In 2022 there was no statistically significant difference between the proportion of people from minority ethnic groups who visited the outdoors at least once a week and people from White ethnic groups. 

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In 2022 adults declaring no religion were more likely to visit the outdoors at least weekly (73%) than adults recorded as Christian (66%). However there was no statistically significant difference for adults recorded as another religion. 

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In 2022 adults living in less deprived areas were more likely to visit the outdoors weekly than those living in more deprived areas: 77% in the 20% least deprived areas compared to 57% in the 20% most deprived areas.  

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In 2022 adults living in remote rural areas were more likely to visit the outdoors at least weekly (81%) than those living in large urban areas (68%).

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Waste generated

Latest update: 01 November 2023

This indicator measures the amount of household waste generated in million tonnes. Find out more about this indicator.

There has been a reduction of 10 per cent since 2011, which was the first year comparable data was collected.

The amount of household waste generated in Scotland reduced by 6 per cent (148 thousand tonnes) between 2021 and 2022 to 2.33 million tonnes.

The data are held at local authority level and published statistics are available at this level.

Total household waste generated decreased in 25 local authorities and increased in 7 local authorities in 2022 compared with 2021. Of these, 22 decreased by more than 5%, and two increased by more than 5%.

This indicator can be broken down by local authority, and by local authority (per capita). This breakdown can be viewed on the Equality Evidence Finder.

Performance Improving

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