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Life for people in Scotland in 2017

Published: 04 Sep 2018 09:30

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Six out of ten households were owner-occupiers. Over nine in ten adults viewed their neighbourhood as a very or fairly good place to live. The proportion of women in work is increasing and the proportion of adults without any qualifications is decreasing. Over half of all adults were managing well financially and most households had internet access at home. Recreational walking has risen and continues to be the most common type of physical activity. Over three in five adults viewed climate change as an immediate and urgent problem. There are high and increasing levels of cultural participation in Scotland.

These are just some of the findings from the wide-ranging 2017 Scottish Household Survey. The survey has been designed to provide reliable and up-to-date information on the composition, characteristics, attitudes and behaviour of Scottish households and individuals since 1999.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today published the Scottish Household Survey (SHS) 2017 Annual Report (Scotland’s People) as well as the Scottish Household Survey (SHS) 2017 Key Findings, a Climate Change Topic Report and a data comic. These are web-only publications and can be found on the Scottish Government Website, at https://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/16002/PublicationAnnual.

Some key findings from each chapter of the report are:

Housing

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  • The total number of households in Scotland has increased by 13 per cent from 2.19 million households in 1999 to 2.46 million households in 2017.
  • The proportion of households in the private rented sector has remained similar at 15 per cent in the latest year 2017. Previously, the proportion of households in the private rented sector has grown steadily from five per cent in 1999 to 15 per cent in 2016, an estimated increase of 250,000 households.
  • The percentage of households in the social rented sector declined from 32 per cent in 1999 to 23 per cent in 2007, an estimated drop of 150,000 households, mostly due to tenants buying their homes under Right to Buy. And the percentage has remained at between 22 and 23 per cent of all households since then. 
  • The percentage of households in owner occupation grew from 61 per cent in 1999 to 66 per cent in 2005, but then declined by an estimated 90,000 households between 2009 and 2014 to 60 per cent. The level has since remained around 61 and 62 per cent between 2015 and 2017.

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  • In 2017, over nine in ten households (92 per cent) reported that they were very or fairly satisfied with their housing, with 56 per cent being very satisfied and 36 per cent being fairly satisfied.

Neighbourhoods

  • Overall ratings of neighbourhoods have been consistently high since the SHS began in 1999. Over nine in ten (95 per cent) adults view their neighbourhood as a very or fairly good place to live. This proportion was significantly higher than in each individual year between 1999 and 2013.
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    3-75
    • The majority of adults in Scotland (57 per cent) rated their neighbourhood as a very good place to live in 2017.
    • Neighbourhood ratings vary by area deprivation. Only 29 per cent of adults in the most deprived areas rated it as very good place to live, compared to 80 per cent in the least deprived areas in 2017. Adults in less deprived areas are more likely to rate their neighbourhood as a very good place to live and this has been a consistent finding in recent years.
    • Almost eight in ten (78 per cent) adults felt a very or fairly strong sense of belonging to their neighbourhood in 2017 and the majority of adults strongly agreed that they would assist neighbours in an emergency and could rely on those around them for advice and support.

    Economic Activity

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    4-65
    • The proportion of adults without any qualifications has decreased from 23 per cent in 2007 to 16 per cent in 2017 whilst the proportion of adults with a degree or professional qualification has increased (23 per cent in 2007 to 31 per cent in 2017). The proportion of those with a degree or professional qualification was highest in the 25 to 34 and 35 to 44 age categories.
    • As income increased, the proportion of adults aged 16-64 with a degree or professional qualification increased; half (51 per cent) of 16-64 year old adults in households earning over £40,000 had degree level or professional qualifications, compared to one in five (21 per cent) 16-64 year old adults in households earning up to £6,000.

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  • More women are now in work than in 1999; 51 per cent in 2017 and 45 per cent in 1999.
  • A higher proportion of adult men (60 per cent) compared to women (51 per cent) were in work. The gap between men and women has remained around the same level since 2009.
  • Men aged 16-64 were more likely to be in employment than women (73 and 65 per cent respectively). Men were employed predominantly full-time (58 per cent) or self-employed (10 per cent), whilst the employment of women showed greater variation; 39 per cent were employed full time, followed by 21 per cent employed part-time.
  • Whilst the SHS 2017 Annual Report does present some estimates related to economic activity, the official and most up-to-date source of statistics on employment, unemployment and economic activity is the Labour Force Survey for Scotland and the Annual Population Survey at a local authority level. Results from both surveys are available from the Scottish Government website: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Labour-Market

Household Finances

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  • On the whole, the proportion of households reporting they were managing well financially has increased to over half of households (56 per cent) in 2017 from two in five households (42 per cent) in 1999. The recent levels suggest a period of recovery following the dip between 2007 and 2012, which may be explained in part by the economic downturn during that period.

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  • Single parent households (21 per cent) and single adult households (16 per cent) were the most likely to report that they were not managing well financially compared to the overall average of nine per cent.
  • Almost one in five households (18 per cent) on lower incomes (up to £10,000) said they did not manage well. This is higher than the overall average of eight per cent.
  • Around two-thirds (69 per cent) of owner occupiers reported managing well – more than double the proportion of households in social rented properties (30 per cent) saying the same.
  • There has been an overall increase in the proportion of households reporting having savings of £1,000 or more, from 43 per cent in 2009 to 55 per cent in 2017.
    • Households with lower income levels were more likely to report having no savings than those with higher incomes; only one in ten (10 per cent) households with incomes over £30,000 reported having no savings, compared to nearly two fifths (39 per cent) of households with incomes up to £10,000.

    Internet

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  • Home internet access in Scotland is high and continuing to increase. 85 per cent of Scottish households reported having internet access at home in 2017, an increase of three percentage points from the prior year.
  • Home internet access varies with household income although the gap has narrowed in recent years. In 2017, 66 per cent of households with incomes of £15,000 or less had home internet access, increasing to 99 per cent of households with incomes over £40,000. Since 2007, the gap in home internet access between the income bracket with the lowest rate of internet access (£6,001 - £10,000), and the highest income bracket, has decreased from 69 percentage points to 42 percentage points in 2017.
  • Home internet access varies with area deprivation. Households in the most deprived areas in Scotland continue to be less likely than those in the least deprived areas to have access to the internet at home (77 per cent and 93 per cent respectively in 2017). However, the gap has decreased gradually over time from 36 percentage points in 2006 to 16 percentage points in 2017.
  • One in seven (14 per cent) adults reported not using the internet at all in 2017, compared to one in six (16 per cent) adults in 2016.
  • The proportion of internet users reporting that they access the internet using a smartphone continued to increase (from 72 per cent in 2016 to 78 per cent in 2017), and is now broadly the same as the share of internet users using a PC or laptop to go online (79 per cent).
  • Overall, 47 per cent of internet users stated that security concerns had not caused them to change their internet use, but over one third (34 per cent) stated that they were less likely to share personal information online due to security concerns. In general, younger people (particularly those aged 16-24) were less likely to have changed their use of the internet as a result of security concerns.

Physical activity and sport

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    • Participation in all physical activity and sport remained relatively constant between 2007 and 2010 (around 72 per cent). Recently people have become more active with participation rising to 75 per cent in 2011 and again to 81 per cent in 2017. The rise in physical activity is driven by the rise in recreational walking.
    • Recreational walking (for at least 30 minutes) has consistently been the most common type of physical activity. Participation has risen from 57 per cent in 2011 to 70 per cent in 2017.
    • Excluding walking, just over half (53 per cent) of the adult population participated in physical activity and sport in the four weeks prior to interview. This has remained broadly constant since 2007.
    • Men are more active than women (83 per cent and 80 per cent respectively). 
    • Participation in physical activity and sport in the previous four weeks was lower (71 per cent) amongst those in the most deprived areas of Scotland, compared with those in the least deprived areas (90 per cent).

      Local services

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  • Combined satisfaction with all three public services (local health services, schools and public transport) is at its lowest level since first measured in 2007, and down from a peak of 66 per cent in 2011.  
  • In 2017, 82 per cent of adults were satisfied with local health services, compared to 70 per cent who were satisfied with schools and 69 per cent with public transport. Satisfaction with schools has fallen over the last six years, from a high of 85 per cent in 2011 to the current level of 70 per cent, and this is the biggest factor in the corresponding trend in the combined indicator over this period. The reason the number of adults very or fairly satisfied with local schools has fallen is almost entirely due to a corresponding increase from 11% to 25% in the number of people who are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied as the number of people who are very or fairly dissatisfied with local schools has remained stable throughout this period.
  • Satisfaction with the three public services among service users is generally higher than that of the whole adult population, and is more stable over time.

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  • In 2017, around a quarter (23 per cent) of adults agreed that they can influence decisions affecting their local area, an increase from 20 per cent in 2007. Around a third (33 per cent) of adults said they would like to be more involved in the decisions their council makes, a decrease from 38 per cent in 2007.
  • Generally, older adults were more likely than younger adults to say they are satisfied with local government performance and less likely to want to be more involved in making decisions. Around half of 60 to 74 year olds and those aged 75 years and over agreed with the statement that their council does the best it can with the money available, compared to around one third of 16 to 24 and 25 to 34 year olds. Those aged 35 to 44, were more likely to want to have greater involvement with decisions affecting their local area (42 per cent) compared to 29 per cent for those aged 60-74, and 15 per cent for those aged 75 and above.

Environment

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  • More and more adults in Scotland believe that climate change is an immediate and urgent problem. Six in ten adults (61 per cent) viewed climate change as an immediate and urgent problem, a six percentage point increase since 2016 (55 per cent).
  • Concern about climate change has increased in particular among the 16-24 age group, and is lowest among the 75+ age group. The proportion of 16-24 year olds who view climate change as an immediate problem increased by over half between 2013 and 2017, from 38 per cent to 58 per cent.
  • In 2017 there is still a large gap between adults with a degree or professional qualification (nearly eight out of ten), and adults with no qualifications (around four out of ten) who perceive it as an immediate problem. This gap has widened by nine percentage points compared with 2013.
  • In 2017 only 50% of those living in the most deprived areas saw climate change as an immediate and urgent problem, compared to 72% of those living in the least deprived areas.
  • In 2017, there was strong disagreement with the statement that climate change will only have an impact on other countries. 77 per cent of adults disagreed, of whom 48 per cent strongly disagreed. This has stayed the same since 2015. This suggests that the majority of people believe that climate change will have an impact on Scotland, as well as on other countries.
  • Fewer than one in five adults agreed with the statement. “It’s not worth me doing things to help the environment if others don’t do the same”. This suggests that the majority of people believe that their individual actions can help the environment, regardless of the actions of others.
  • Nearly six out of ten disagreed with the statement that they don’t believe their behaviour and everyday lifestyle contribute to climate change. The proportion of adults who strongly disagreed increased between 2015 and 2017. This suggests that a majority of people agree that there is a link between their own behaviours and everyday lifestyle and climate change. 
  • 73% of adults agree with this statement, “I understand what actions people like myself should take to help tackle climate change” with an increase in strong agreement compared with 2015. This suggests that a majority of people believe that they know what actions they could take personally.

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  • More households are now disposing of their food waste in local authority-provided food caddies (55 per cent in 2017 compared with 26 per cent in 2012).
  • Households in flats are much more likely to dispose of their food waste with their general waste as opposed to those living in houses (65 per cent compared to 39 per cent). Households in rural areas are more likely to use composting to dispose of their food waste (19 per cent) or dispose of food waste with their general rubbish (54 per cent) than households in urban areas (seven per cent and 47 per cent for composting and general rubbish, respectively).
  • Just over half of adults (52 per cent) visited the outdoors at least once a week in the last year, an increase from 48 per cent in 2016. Adults living in the most deprived areas were more likely not to have made any visits to the outdoors in the past twelve months (20 per cent) compared to those in the least deprived areas (six per cent).

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  • Nearly two thirds of adults (65 per cent) lived within a five minute walk of their nearest area of greenspace, a similar proportion to 2016. 

Volunteering

  • Levels of volunteering have remained relatively stable over the last nine years, with around three in ten adults providing unpaid help to organisations or groups. In 2017, 28 per cent of adults provided unpaid help to organisations or groups in the last 12 months.
    • The profile of volunteers has remained relatively stable over time. Volunteers are more likely to be: women; from higher socio-economic and income groups; from rural areas; from less deprived areas; employed or in full-time education; have a degree or professional qualification
    • Overall, the volunteering results from 2017 by economic situation, household income and area deprivation continue to support existing evidence about the under-representation of disadvantaged groups in volunteering.
    • The type of organisations most commonly volunteered for were ‘children’s activities associated with schools’ (21 per cent), ‘youth or children’ organisations (20 per cent), and ‘local community or neighbourhood groups’ (19 per cent).

Culture

  • There are high and increasing levels of cultural participation in Scotland. Over nine in ten (93 per cent) adults were culturally engaged in 2017, either by attending or visiting a cultural event or place or by participating in a cultural activity. The level of cultural engagement has increased by around six percentage points since first recorded in 2007.
  • Women, younger people, those with degrees or professional qualifications, those with good physical and mental health and those living in less deprived areas are more likely to attend cultural events. This profile has remained the same over time.
  • Around eight in ten (84 per cent) adults in Scotland had attended a cultural event or place in the last 12 months.

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  • Cinemas, museums, historical places, street arts and cultural festivals were visited by more people in 2017 compared to 2012, an increase in each of these by around five per cent.
  • Overall, the proportion of those who reported they didn’t visit any cultural place or event decreased from 22 per cent in 2012 to 16 per cent in 2017.
  • Overall participation in cultural activities was high (78 per cent), and has remained largely unchanged since 2012. The most popular form of cultural participation in 2017 was reading for pleasure (65 per cent).

The figures released today were produced by independent statistical staff free from any political interference, in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Background  

The full statistical publication is available at: http://www.gov.scot/isbn/9781787811621/

The SHS Key Findings is available at: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/09/5167

The SHS Climate Change Topic Report is available at: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/09/5117

The SHS Data Comic is available as at: http://www.gov.scot/isbn/9781787811959/

The SHS is a survey of households across the whole of Scotland, and is designed to provide reliable and up-to-date information on the composition, characteristics, attitudes and behaviour of Scottish households and individuals on a range of issues. It covers a wide range of key topics including household composition; housing; neighbourhoods and communities; economic activity; household finances; internet and broadband; physical activity and sport; local services; the environment; volunteering and culture and heritage.

Further information on the Scottish Household Survey can be accessed at: http://www.gov.scot/SHS

Transport Scotland publishes the SHS transport and travel data directly. The Transport and Travel in Scotland (TATIS) annual publication, also published today, includes information on households' access to cars and bikes, frequency of driving, modes of travel to work and school (including an update to the National Indicator), use and opinions of public transport and access to services. From 2014 onwards, TATIS also includes the SHS Travel Diary, covering information about travel by adults, including journey purposes and the means of transport used amongst others: http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/publications-stats

Whilst the SHS 2017 annual report does present some estimates related to economic activity, the official and most up-to-date source of statistics on employment, unemployment and economic activity is the Labour Force Survey for Scotland and the Annual Population Survey at a local authority level. Results from both surveys are available from the Scottish Government website: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Labour-Market

Housing Statistics for Scotland (to be published on 25th September 2018). A full range of housing statistics is published annually. The Housing Statistics for Scotland 2018: Key Trends Summary will contain an overview of the topics covered in the web tables. It provides a comprehensive summary of housing activity in Scotland: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Housing-Regeneration/HSfS

From 2012 onwards, the SHS was substantially redesigned and now includes elements of the Scottish House Condition Survey (SHCS) including a follow-up Physical Survey of dwellings. Results of this will be released later in 2018 through the SHCS Key Findings Report and will be available through the SHCS website: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/SHCS

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/About