Scottish Household Survey - 2020 Publication

The Scottish Household Survey (SHS) is one of the largest and most important surveys in Scotland. It provides robust evidence on the composition, characteristics, attitudes and behaviour of private households and individuals in Scotland, as well as evidence on the physical condition of Scotland’s homes. Data from the SHS provides estimates for some of the National Indicators in the National Performance Framework.

Since 1999, fieldwork for the Scottish Household Survey has been conducted annually, with interviews undertaken throughout the year. It has used the gold standard survey methodology of interviewing face-to-face, in people’s homes, a random sample of households, to consistently produce high quality estimates.

In March 2020, to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, fieldwork for the Scottish Household Survey was suspended. A revised approach was piloted and adopted for the remainder of the 2020 sample. This involved no interviewer travel, and surveys conducted remotely, either by telephone or by video.

A full account of the changes made in the SHS 2020 survey can be found here.

It has not been possible to determine the extent to which any differences between 2020 and previous years represent genuine changes in people’s views and experiences, as opposed to being due to changes in how the survey was carried out.

This has meant that reporting on these National Indicators has had to change to capture this.

What has changed with National Indicators that come from the SHS?

The intention is to provide as much information on National Indicators as part of the SHS 2020 publication as possible, while reflecting the different nature of this publication compared to previous years.

As it is not possible to determine if differences in indicators between 2020 and previous years represent genuine changes, or are due to the change in how the survey was carried out, we cannot make an accurate determination of the direction of the performance arrow for each indicator.

As a result of this, most indicators will show ‘performance to be confirmed’ to reflect this.

The changes outlined above do not mean that the data from the SHS 2020 is poor quality, just that it cannot be compared with previous trend data.

As a result of this, the National Indicators that would be updated from the SHS 2020 are being reporting on this page in order to keep them distinct from the main time series. The disaggregations available for indicators may have changed due to the smaller achieved sample for the SHS 2020 telephone survey, in particular, local authority breakdowns are not available.

Community

Places to interact (2020)

The percentage of adults who tend to agree/strongly agree that there are places to meet up and socialise in their neighbourhood was 61% in 2020.

Beyond the headline statistic:

  • There is not very much variation between age categories. The highest level of agreement is for people who in the 45 to 54 age group (66%), and the lowest in the 55 to 64 age group (58%)
  • White and minority ethnic groups reported similar levels of agreement (61% for both groups)

  • There are similar levels of agreement among men (60%) and women (62%).

  • Disabled people are less likely to agree that there are places to interact (57%) compared with people who are not disabled (62%).

  • There are similar levels of agreement in areas classified as urban (61%) and rural (61%).

  • There is a larger amount of variation by deprivation. People in the 20% most deprived parts of Scotland are much less likely to agree with this statement (55%) than people in the 20% least deprived parts of Scotland (67%).

Performance to be confirmed

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Loneliness (2020)

The percentage of adults who felt lonely some, most, almost all, or all of the time in the last week was 35%. This is compared with 21% in 2018, although it should be noted that the data is not directly comparable due to methodology changes.

Beyond the headline statistic:

  • Younger age groups were more likely to report loneliness, with the highest figures in the 16 to 24 age group (48%) and the lowest in the 28 to 74 age group (28%) 
  • The White and minority ethnic groups reported similar levels of loneliness (35% and 32% respectively).
  • Women were more likely to report feelings of loneliness (40%) compared to men (29%)
  • People living with a long-term health condition were more as likely to experience feelings of loneliness (48%) compared to people without (31%)
  • People were more likely to report feelings of loneliness in more deprived areas, with the highest reports of loneliness in the 20% most deprived areas.
  • People living in urban areas were more likely to report feelings of loneliness (36%) than those living in rural areas (30%)

Performance to be confirmed

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Access to Green and Blue Spaces (2020)

In 2020, 67.8% of adults lived within a 5 minute walk of their nearest green or blue space.  

Beyond the headline statistic:

  • In 2020 adults aged 75+ were less likely to live within a five minute walk of their nearest  green or blue space (58.7%) compared to younger age groups (75.6% for aged 16-24). 
  • In 2020 men were more likely (70.4%) and women (65.4%) to live within a five minute walk of their nearest  green or blue space.
  • In 2020 there was no statistically significant difference in the proportion of people from the White ethnic group living within a five minute walk of their nearest green or blue space and the corresponding proportion of people from minority ethnic groups. The base of the minority ethnic category was fewer than 100 individuals.
  • In 2020 adults living in less deprived areas were more likely than those living in more deprived areas to live within a five minute walk of their nearest green or blue space: 61.7% for the 20% most deprived areas compared to 73.6% for the 20% to 40% least deprived areas. The difference between the proportions for the 20% least deprived areas and 20% most deprived areas was not statistically significant.    
  • In 2020 there was no statistically significant difference found between the proportion of adults declaring no religion who were living within a five minute walk of their nearest green or blue space and the corresponding proportions for adults who were recorded as Christian or another religion. The base for the other religion category was fewer than 100 individuals.
  • In 2020 there was no statistically significant difference between the proportion of adults with a disability who were living within a five minute walk of their nearest green or blue space and the corresponding proportion of adults who did not have a disability.
  • In 2020 adults living in remote rural areas were more likely than those living in large urban areas to live within a  five minute walk of their nearest  green or blue space (79.5% compared to 60.5% respectively). 
  • In 2020 adults who reported their health to be good or very good were more likely to live within a five minute walk of their nearest  green or blue space (69.6%) than adults who reported their health to be bad or very bad (50.2%).

Please note that the results of the SHS 2020 telephone survey are not directly comparable to SHS results for previous years.

Performance to be confirmed

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Poverty

Satisfaction with housing (2020)

Overall ratings of housing satisfaction have been high, with 94% of households typically reporting they are “very” or “fairly satisfied” with their house or flat in 2020.

The percentage of people in 2020 who are “very” or “fairly satisfied” with their house or flat is not being compared with previous years due to changes in the survey method due to COVID-19 guidance.

Deprivation reveals differences in housing satisfaction levels, as the proportion being “very” or “fairly” satisfied with their house or flat generally increases as deprivation declines. Of those living in the 20% most deprived areas of Scotland in 2020, 82% report being “very” or “fairly” satisfied with their house or flat, rising to 99% for those living in the 20% least deprived areas.

Generally, there is a high level of satisfaction with housing across both rural and urban areas, where over nine in ten are “very” or “fairly” satisfied with their house or flat. Rural areas are slightly more likely to report higher satisfaction levels with housing compared to urban areas (97% versus 94%).

Please note that the results of the SHS 2020 telephone survey are not directly comparable to SHS results for previous years

Performance to be confirmed

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Environment

Visits to the Outdoors (2020)

During 2020, 78.8% of adults are estimated to have visited the outdoors at least once a week.

This data is taken from the Scottish Household Survey 2020, where respondents were asked how often on average they had made a visit to the outdoors for leisure and recreation in Scotland at the time of asking.

From 2006 to 2012 this data was taken from the Scottish Recreation Survey. Both surveys were conducted in 2012.

Beyond the headline statistic:

  • Local authority breakdowns are available for 2019 and earlier years. Local authority breakdowns of the 2020 data are not available as the sample size generated by the telephone/video collection methods is too small to give statistically robust figures below national level.
  • In 2020 adults aged 65+ were less likely to visit the outdoors at least once a week (66%) compared to younger age groups (84% for aged 16-39). 

  • In 2020 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.

  • In 2020 there was no statistically significant difference in the proportion of people from the White ethnic group who visited the outdoors at least once a week and the corresponding proportion of people from minority ethnic groups. The base of the minority ethnic category was fewer than 100 individuals.

  • In 2020 adults declaring no religion were more likely to visit the outdoors at least weekly (82.0%) than adults recorded as Christian (75.9%) and adults recorded as non-Christian (62.0%). The  base for the non-Christian category was fewer than 100 individuals. This was too small to give a meaningful comparison between adults recorded as Christian and non-Christian.

  • In 2020 adults who did not have a disability were more likely to visits the outdoors at least weekly (84.0% of adults), compared to those who did have a disability (61.2% of adults).

  • In 2020 adults living in remote rural areas were more likely to visit the outdoors at least weekly (87.3%) than those living in large urban areas (76.6%).

  • In 2020 adults who reported their health to be good or very good were much more likely to visit the outdoors at least weekly (84.6%) than adults who reported their health to be bad or very bad (40.6%).

Please note that the results of the SHS 2020 telephone survey are not directly comparable to SHS results for previous years.

Performance to be confirmed

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Human Rights

Trust in Public Organisations

The 2020 Scottish Household Survey asked adult respondents to what extent they trust seven Scottish public institutions.

All of the institutions included in the question were trusted by the majority of respondents.

Although we cannot use the 2020 data to create the baseline for the NPF indicator, the SHS findings are presented here for information.

Respondents were most likely to say that they trusted the Health System: 93% of adults trusted it while just 6% distrusted it.

In 2020, 74% of adults said that they trusted the Scottish Government, while 21% said that they distrusted it.

Respondents were least likely to say that they trusted the Civil Service (67%) or Local Government (67%).

Care must be taken when making comparisons between institutions because the percentage of adults saying they don’t know or are not sure if they trust each institution varies widely. For example, 21% of respondents said that they didn’t know whether or not they trusted the Civil Service, compared with only 1% of adults for the Health System.

Performance to be confirmed

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Quality of Public Services (2020)

The percentage of adults satisfied with local health services, local schools and public transport in 2020 was 60.5%.

Beyond the headline statistic:

  • People aged 75+ had greater levels of satisfaction with public services (66%) than those aged 16-24 (54%).
  • Men (61%) and women (60%) had similar levels of satisfaction with public services.
  • People in the most deprived areas had similar levels of satisfaction with public services (67%) to those in the least deprived areas (65%).
  • People with long term limiting illness had lower levels of satisfaction with public services (55%) than those without (62%).
  • People in urban areas had greater levels of satisfaction with public services (62%) than those in rural areas (54%) – mainly due to greater satisfaction the public transport.

Additionally, the sample size was too small to produce a meaningful analysis of ethnicity.

Please note that the results of the SHS 2020 telephone survey are not directly comparable to SHS results for previous years.

Performance to be confirmed

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Influence over Local Decisions (2020)

In 2020, 24.5% of people agreed that they can influence decisions affecting their local area.

Beyond the headline statistic:

  • Adults aged 16-24 (31%) and 45-54 (29%) were most likely to feel they can influence decisions affecting their local area
  • Men (24%) and women (25%) had similar views of their ability to influence decisions affecting their local area
  • People in the most deprived areas are less likely to think they can influence decisions affecting their local area (22%) than those in the least deprived areas (29%)
  • People with a long term limiting illness were less likely (20%) to feel that they can influence decisions affecting their local area than those without (26%).
  • People in rural areas are more likely to feel that they can influence decisions affecting their local area (28%) than those in urban areas (24%)

The sample size was too small to produce a meaningful analysis of ethnicity.

Please note that the results of the SHS 2020 telephone survey are not directly comparable to SHS results for previous years.

Performance to be confirmed

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Culture

Attendance at cultural events or places of culture (2020)

Data from the 2020 Scottish Household Survey (SHS) indicates that 44% of adults in Scotland had had attended or visited a cultural event or place of culture in the last 12 months (including cinema).

Opportunities to attend a number of cultural and heritage venues and events were substantially reduced for a large portion of the time period covered by the data, owing to Covid-19 and the restrictions in place to control the spread of the virus.  Restrictions on a range of activities and venues were in operation at various junctures between March 2020 and August 2021.  Restrictions may also have had a significant bearing on commercial decisions, such as feature film release schedules, which may also have influenced behaviour. 

Compared to the average, attendance was significantly higher for those: with degrees or professional qualifications; with incomes above £30,000; living in the least deprived areas; from ‘White: Other’ ethnic backgrounds and from those that reported having no disability. Attendance was lower for those: aged over 75; with no or ‘other’ qualifications; that are widowed; that are retired or that have reported having a disability.

Beyond the headline statistic:

  • Younger age groups were noticeably more likely to have attended a cultural event or visited places of culture (including cinema) in the last 12 months than older age groups. 55% of 16 to 24 year olds had attended or visited a cultural event or place compared to 23% of those aged 75 and over and 41% for those aged 60 to 74.
  • Cultural attendance (including cinema) was 43% for men and 45% for women. However, these differences were found not to be statistically significant.
  • Cultural attendance (including cinema) was highest for ‘White: Other’ adults (65%). For minority ethnic adults it was 51% and 42% for ‘White: Scottish’ adults. However, these differences were found not to be statistically significant.
  • Levels of cultural attendance generally increased as deprivation decreased. Cultural attendance (including cinema)  was highest for those living in the 20% least deprived areas (53%) and lowest for those living in the 20% most deprived areas (36%).
  • Levels of cultural attendance generally increased as levels of qualifications increased. Cultural attendance (including cinema) was highest among adults with a degree or professional qualification (58%) and lowest for those with no qualifications or ‘other qualifications’ (20%).
  • Levels of cultural attendance generally increased as levels of net annual household income increased. Cultural attendance (including cinema) was highest  among adults with a net annual household income of over £30,000 (50%) and lowest for those with a net annual household income of between £0 and £10,000 (29%).
  • Cultural attendance (including cinema) was highest for those who said their religion was ‘Other Christian’ (51%), and lower for those who said ‘Church of Scotland’ (36%) and Roman Catholic (38%). Differences between adults that said their religion was ‘Other Christian’ and other sub-groups were found not to be statistically significant.
  • Cultural attendance (including cinema) was lower among adults that reported having a disability. 32% of those that reported a disability had attended or visited a cultural event or place compared with 48% attendance for those that reported having no disability.
  • Cultural attendance (including cinema) was 45% for those living in urban areas and 42% for those living in rural areas. However, these differences were found not to be statistically significant.
  • Cultural attendance (including cinema) was highest for single adults (49%) and lowest for widowed adults (25%) and divorced / separated adults (37%). Differences between single adults and other sub-groups were found not to be statistically significant.
  • Cultural attendance (including cinema) was highest for adults in employment (48%) and lowest for those permanently retired from (34%). Differences between adults in employment and other sub-groups were found not to be statistically significant.

Please note that the results of the SHS 2020 telephone survey are not directly comparable to SHS results for previous years. While these data cannot be compared with those of previous years, they offer an indication of the impact of Covid-19 and associated restrictions on cultural attendance

Performance to be confirmed

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Cultural Participation (2020)

Data from the 2020 Scottish Household Survey (SHS) indicates that 83% of adults in Scotland had had participated in some form of cultural activity in  the last 12 months (including reading).

COVID-19 and the measures required to contain the spread of the virus may have restricted people’s opportunities to partake in some forms of culture that they find of interest for a large part of in 2020 e.g. taking part in a play or singing in a group / choir.

Compared to the average, participation (including reading) was significantly higher for: women; adults with degrees or professional qualifications; those from ‘White: Other’ ethnic backgrounds; adults living in rural areas and for adults living in the least deprived areas. Participation was lower for: men, adults living in the most deprived areas and for adults with no qualifications.

  • Overall, cultural participation (including reading) was broadly similar for all age groups in 2020.
  • More women than men reported having participated in a cultural activity in the last 12 months. 88% of women had participated in a cultural activity (including reading) in the last 12 months compared with 78% of men, though this varied by activity.
  • Cultural participation (including reading) was highest for ‘White: Other’ adults (92%). For minority ethnic adults cultural participation was 80% and 82% for ‘White: Scottish’ adults. However, these differences were found not to be statistically significant.
  • Levels of cultural participation (including reading) generally increased as deprivation decreased. Participation in cultural activities was highest among adults living in the least deprived areas (89%) and lowest for those living in the most deprived areas (75%).
  • Levels of cultural participation (including reading) generally increased as level of qualification increased. Participation in cultural activities was highest among adults with a degree or professional qualification (92%) and lowest for those with no qualifications (66%).
  • Cultural participation (including reading) was 84% for adults with a net annual household income above £30,000 and 80% for adults with net annual household income below £10,000. However, these differences were found not to be statistically significant.
  • Cultural participation (including reading) was highest for those who said their religion was ‘Other Christian’ (88%), and lowest for those who said ‘Roman Catholic’ (79%).
  • Cultural participation (including reading) was 80% for adults that reported having a disability and 84% for adults that reported having no disability. However, these differences were found not to be statistically significant.
  • Participation in cultural activities (including reading) was higher among adults living in rural areas (87%) and lower for those living in urban areas (82%).
  • Cultural participation (including reading) was 85% for single adults and 82% for adults that are married or in a civil partnership. However, these differences were found not to be statistically significant.
  • Cultural participation (including reading) was 84% for adults permanently retired from work and 83% for adults in employment. However, these differences were found not to be statistically significant.

Please note that the results of the SHS 2020 telephone survey are not directly comparable to SHS results for previous years.

Performance to be confirmed

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