Life for people in Scotland in 2018
A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.
Over the last year, combined satisfaction with all three public services (local health services, schools and public transport) has remained stable, with satisfaction at 51.7% in 2018. This is the lowest level since first measured in 2007, and down from a peak of 66% in 2011, mainly due to a decrease in satisfaction with local schools. Four in five adults (80 per cent) felt that they can’t influence decisions affecting their local area.
Scotland’s Chief Statistician today published the Scottish Household Survey (SHS) 2018 Annual Report (Scotland’s People) as well as the infographic summary report: Scottish Household Survey (SHS) 2018 Key Findings. This report has been published each year since 2000.
The following are just some of the many findings from the wide-ranging 2018 Scottish Household Survey.
- Over nine in ten (95 per cent) adults living in Scotland viewed their neighbourhood as a very or fairly good place to live in 2018, and 83% believed their neighbourhood was one where people are kind to each other.
- New questions on people’s feelings of loneliness tell us that one in five (21 per cent) adults experienced feelings of loneliness in the last week. Those living in the most deprived areas and people living with a long-term physical or mental health condition were around twice as likely to experience feelings of loneliness compared with those living in the least deprived areas and those without a long-term physical or mental health condition, respectively.
- New questions on people's use of childcare show that in 2018, four in five (80 per cent) households with a two- to five-year-old (not yet at school) used some form of childcare, the most common type being a local authority nursery or pre-school (43 per cent). Although not all children aged two to five are entitled to funded childcare, just over half (53 per cent) of households with children of this age used funded childcare during term-time. Almost nine in 10 (86 per cent) were either very or fairly satisfied with the overall quality of the funded childcare. Around half (52 per cent) of those who use some type of childcare during school term-time, either do not pay for childcare or all childcare used is funded by the local authority or Scottish Government.
- The survey also shows us that more and more adults in Scotland believe that climate change is an immediate and urgent problem. Almost two thirds (65 per cent) of adults viewed climate change as an immediate and urgent problem compared to less than half (46 per cent) five years ago. The largest increase in those who agreed is amongst 16-24 year olds. In 2018, around three quarters (74 per cent) of adults agreed they understood what actions they should take to help tackle climate change. Overall, this figure has not increased since 2015 (73 per cent), however there is an increase in the proportion of adults who strongly agreed that they understood the actions required (26 per cent in 2015 to 34 per cent in 2018).
- There has been an increase in home ownership amongst young people aged 16 to 34.
The Scottish Household 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.
Key findings from the report
Physical activity and sport
Culture and Heritage
- There has been an increase in home ownership amongst young people aged 16 to 34. Between 2015 and 2018, there has been a decrease of approximately 20,000 private renting households where the HIH is aged 16 to 34. There has been a corresponding increase across this period of approximately 30,000 households aged 16 to 34 who are owning a property with a mortgage.
- The proportion of households in the private rented sector grew steadily from five per cent in 1999 (120,000 households) to 15 per cent in 2016 (370,000 households), an increase of a quarter of a million households. The proportion has since dropped slightly to 14 per cent in the latest year (2018) to stand at 340,000 households, a decrease of 30,000 households since 2016.
- 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, but has remained between 22 and 24 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, was stable at around 65 and 66 per cent until 2009 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. Within this, the steady decline in the proportion of younger households aged between 16 and 34 in owner occupation, which fell from 53 per cent in 2009 to 30 per cent in 2014, has reversed recently, rising to 37 per cent in 2018.
- In 2018, nine in 10 households (90 per cent) reported that they were very or fairly satisfied with their housing.
- The total number of households in Scotland has increased by 13 percent from 2.19 million households in 1999 to 2.48 million households in 2018.
- One in five (21 per cent) adults living in Scotland experienced feelings of loneliness in the last week, and this didn’t vary by the respondents’ age. Although level of deprivation did not impact social isolation, as measured by the number of people meeting socially at least once a week, those living in the most deprived areas were almost twice as likely to experience feelings of loneliness as those living in the least deprived areas. People living with a long-term physical or mental health condition were more than twice as likely to experience loneliness as those without. The majority of adults in Scotland (73 per cent) met socially with friends, relatives, neighbours or work colleagues at least once a week.
- Ratings of neighbourhoods have been consistently high since 1999 with over nine in 10 adults (90 per cent) viewing their neighbourhood as a very or fairly good place to live.
- In 2018, the majority of adults (57 per cent) rated their neighbourhood as a very good place to live, similar to 2017.
- Whilst neighbourhoods were rated positively overall, the strength of view varied, with those in rural areas rating their neighbourhoods higher than those in cities.
- 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. Only 29 per cent of adults in the 10 per cent most deprived areas rated it as very good place to live, whilst 78 per cent in the 10 per cent least deprived areas rated this way.
- People were positive about different aspects of their neighbourhoods but were more positive about the people-based factors (such as kindness, trust and people taking action to improve the neighbourhood) and less positive about the physical aspects of their neighbourhoods (such as the availability of places to meet new people, and socialise).
- Eighty-three per cent of adults living in Scotland believed their neighbourhood is one where people are kind to each other. This perception of kindness improved with age.
- The most prevalent perceived neighbourhood problems were rubbish or litter lying around and animal nuisance (both 30 per cent).
- 78 per cent of adults felt a very strong or fairly strong sense of belonging to their neighbourhood and over nine out of 10 adults strongly agreed that they would assist neighbours in an emergency.
- Eight per cent of adults reported that they had experienced discrimination and six per cent of adults reported that they had experienced harassment in Scotland at some point over the last 12 months. The wording of questions about discrimination and harassment in the SHS changed in 2018. In previous years the questions asked about experiences in ‘the last three years’, and from 2018 they refer to experiences in the last 12 months. The data is therefore not comparable with data reported on these topics in previous years’ surveys and it cannot be categorically concluded that there is a change in this figure. It should be noted that in 2017, just over one in 20 adults reported that they had experienced either discrimination (seven per cent) or harassment (six per cent) in Scotland at some point over the last three years. At a national level, reported experiences of discrimination and harassment were stable between 2016 and 2017.
- Some groups were more likely than others to report having experienced discrimination or harassment in Scotland, for instance ethnic minorities, people who are gay/lesbian/bisexual and those who reported belonging to a religion other than Christianity. The most common reason cited as a motivating factor was the respondent’s nationality.
- Whilst the SHS 2018 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 inactivity 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.
Highest level of qualification held by adults aged 16 and over by year
- The proportion of adults aged 16 and over without any qualifications has decreased from around one in four adults (23 per cent) in 2007 to around one in six adults (15 per cent) in 2018, whilst the proportion of those with a degree or professional qualification has increased to around one in three adults (32 per cent). Adults aged 25 to 34 and 35 to 44 had the highest proportion with a degree or professional qualification compared to other age groups. A larger proportion of women had a degree or professional qualification compared to men.
- Links between degree level qualifications and higher incomes can be seen amongst adults aged 16-64. In 2018, as income increased, the proportion of adults aged 16-64 with a degree or professional qualification more than doubled (from 24 per cent of those in the lowest income group to 51 per cent for those in the highest income group).
*In work includes full and part-time employment and those self-employed. Based on adults aged 16+.
- The proportion of men aged 16 and over in work is greater than the proportion of women in work. In 1999 this was 60 and 45 per cent, respectively (15 percentage point gap). This gap narrowed to around nine percentage points in 2009 due to an increase in the proportion of women in work, and has been relatively stable since then with 59 per cent of men and 51 per cent of women in work in 2018.
- Men aged 16-64 were more likely to be in employment than women (73 and 66 per cent respectively). Men were predominantly in full-time employment (58 per cent) or self-employed (10 per cent), while the employment of women showed greater variation; 40 per cent were in full-time employment, followed by 21 per cent in part-time employment.
- Overall, the proportion of households reporting they were managing well financially increased from 42 per cent in 1999 to 55 per cent in 2018. 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.
- Single adult and single parent households were the most likely to report they were not managing well financially in 2018 compared to the overall average of nine per cent.
- Although the majority of households on incomes up to £10,000 said they managed well or got by, over one in five (22 per cent) said they did not manage well - higher than the overall average of nine per cent.
- Owner occupiers were most likely to report they were managing well (69 per cent compared to 28 per cent for households in the social rented sector).
- Home internet access in Scotland is high and continuing to increase. Home internet access has increased steadily over time, reaching an all-time high of 87 per cent of households in 2018, stable compared to 2017, up from 42 per cent in 2003.
- Households with lower incomes and households in Scotland’s most deprived areas were less likely to have home internet access than higher income households and those in less deprived areas, but the gap between both has narrowed in recent years.
- Around one in eight (13 per cent) adults do not use the internet at all. Older adults were less likely to use the internet, but the divide in internet use between younger and older adults has narrowed over time.
- The use of smartphones to access the internet increased again in 2018 to 81 per cent, and was more common than the use of a PC or laptop to access the internet (75 per cent).
- Over one third (36 per cent) of internet users stated that security concerns made them less likely to share personal information online.
Physical activity and sport
- In 2018, the vast majority of adults (80 per cent) had taken part in physical activity or sport in the previous four weeks.
- People have become more active in recent years (rising from 72 per cent in 2010 to 80 per cent in 2018). The rise in physical activity was driven by a rise in recreational walking. Excluding walking, just over half (54 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.
- Frequent participation (on more than 14 days in the past four weeks) by those who were active has increased from 36 per cent in 2007 to 50 per cent in 2018.
- Since 2007, the rise in frequency (increase of 14 percentage points) is greater than the rise in the number of people becoming active (increase of seven percentage points) which suggests that the increase in frequency of participation is due to individuals who are already active becoming more active rather than an equal increase in activity amongst all sectors of the population.
- Participation in physical activity and sport (including recreational walking) was lower for those living in deprived areas (69 per cent for those living in the most deprived areas compared to 90 per cent for those living in the least deprived). When walking is excluded, the gap between participation in the most deprived and least deprived areas has increased since 2007. The gap remained similar between 2007 and 2018 when walking was included (around 20 percentage points).
- Ill health and disability had a big impact on participation. Those with a long term limiting condition were less likely to be physically active (39 per cent compared to 87 per cent of those with no condition).
- Recreational walking (for at least 30 minutes) has consistently been the most common type of physical activity. This has risen from 57 per cent in 2011 to 68 per cent in 2018.
- Participation in physical activity and sport including walking declined with age.
- Participation in physical activity and sport varied with level of qualification. In 2018, participation was highest amongst those with a degree or professional qualification (91 per cent) and lowest for those with no qualifications (55 per cent).
- In 2018, 51.7 per cent of adults were satisfied with all three of the following public services: local health services, schools and public transport (for which an opinion was given).
The indicator is based on the percentage of adults who said that they were very or fairly satisfied with all three services, or for 1 or 2 services if they chose to express “no opinion” on the other service(s).
- Combined satisfaction with all three public services (local health services, schools and public transport) was at its lowest level since first measured in 2007, and down from a peak of 66 per cent in 2011, mainly due to a decrease in satisfaction with local schools.
- The percentage of people dissatisfied with at least one of these three public services has increased since 2011, from 20 per cent to 28 per cent.
- In 2018, 81 per cent of adults were satisfied with local health services, compared to 71 per cent who were satisfied with schools and 65 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 71 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 per cent to 22 per cent in the proportion of adults who are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. The percentage of adults who are very or fairly dissatisfied with local schools has remained fairly stable throughout this period, increasing slightly from four per cent in 2011 to seven per cent in 2018.
- Adults living in urban areas were more satisfied with the quality of the three public services than those in rural areas. This is almost entirely due to greater satisfaction with public transport in urban areas.
- Eight out of 10 respondents were satisfied with local health services, independent of if they use the service or not.
- Service users were more satisfied with local schools and public transport than that of the whole adult population. This trend has been generally stable over time, but since 2016 user satisfaction for public transport has been declining. The difference in satisfaction with schools for service users is not significant.
- In 2018, four in five adults (80 per cent) felt that they can’t influence decisions affecting their local area. Around a third (34 per cent) said they would like to be more involved in the decisions their council makes, a decrease from 38 per cent in 2007. Younger people were more likely to want to be more involved in making decisions.
- Generally, older adults were more likely than younger adults to say they were satisfied with local government performance and less likely to want to be more involved in making decisions.
- More and more adults in Scotland believe that climate change is an immediate and urgent problem. Almost two thirds (65 per cent) of adults viewed climate change as an immediate and urgent problem compared to less than half (46 per cent) five years ago. The largest increase in those who agreed is amongst 16-24 year olds, increasing from 38 per cent in 2013 to 67 per cent in 2018.
- In 2018, around three quarters (74 per cent) of adults agreed they understood what actions they should take to help tackle climate change with an increase from a quarter (26 per cent) to a third (34 per cent) of those who strongly agreed with this since 2015.
- In 2018, the proportion of adults with a degree or professional qualification who perceived climate change as an immediate and urgent problem was double that of adults with no qualifications (81 per cent compared to 40 per cent). This figure is also increasing at a faster rate over time for adults with a degree or professional qualification than for those with no qualifications.
- Climate change was more likely to be perceived as an immediate and urgent problem by adults living in the least deprived 20 per cent of Scotland (75 per cent), compared with adults living in the 20 per cent most deprived areas of Scotland (52 per cent). Whilst the proportion of adults perceiving climate change to be an immediate and urgent problem has increased over time among adults in both the most and least deprived areas, this increase has been greater in the least deprived 20 per cent, resulting in a widening of the gap over time.
- In 2018, there was strong disagreement with the statement that climate change will only have an impact on other countries. This has increased since 2015 from 48 per cent to 61 per cent. This suggests that the majority of people believe that climate change will have an impact on Scotland, as well as on other countries.
- Around three quarters of adults (74 per cent) agreed with this statement, “I understand what actions people like myself should take to help tackle climate change” with an increase in strong agreement from 26 per cent in 2015 to 34 per cent in 2018. This suggests that a majority of people believe that they know what actions they could take personally.
Visits to the outdoors and greenspace
- More than half of adults (59 per cent) visited the outdoors at least once a week in the last year, an increase from 52 per cent in 2017. The 2018 figure is the highest percentage observed since the start of the time series in 2012.
- Adults living in the most deprived areas were more likely not to have made any visits to the outdoors in the past 12 months (18 per cent) compared to those in the least deprived areas (five per cent).
- The gap between those living in the most and least deprived areas has increased over time due to a larger increase in those in the least deprived areas visiting the outdoors in recent years.
- Most adults (65 per cent) lived within a five minute walk of their nearest area of greenspace, a similar proportion to 2017 and 2016. A smaller proportion of adults in deprived areas lived within a five minute walk of their nearest greenspace compared to adults in the least deprived areas (58 per cent compared to 68 per cent).
Participation in land use decisions
- In 2018, less than a sixth of adults (15 per cent) reported that they gave their views on land use, the same proportion as in 2015 and 2017.
- A greater proportion of adults living in rural areas reported giving their views on land use compared to adults living in urban areas.
- The most common way in which people reported giving their views on land use was by signing a petition (seven per cent of adults) and the least common was through discussions with a land owner or land manager (one per cent of adults).
- Recognising the wide range of volunteering contributions, new biennial questions on informal volunteering were included for the first time in the Scottish Household Survey (SHS) 2018. The findings from the 2018 data now include the overall prevalence rate for adults who have been involved in any volunteering (formal and informal) in the last 12 months and also there are separate splits between formal and informal. Previously, only formal volunteering was captured by the survey.
- In 2018, 48 per cent of adults provided unpaid help through formal and / or informal volunteering in the last 12 months.
- Levels of formal volunteering have remained relatively stable over the last 10 years, with around three in 10 adults providing formal unpaid help to groups, clubs or organisations. In 2018, 26 per cent of adults provided unpaid help to groups, clubs or organisations in the last 12 months through formal volunteering.
- In 2018, 36 per cent of adults provided unpaid help through informal volunteering.
- The proportion of women volunteering formally has been consistently higher than that of men.
- The profile of formal volunteers has also remained relatively stable over time and the profile of informal volunteers is similar to that of formal volunteers. Volunteers were more likely to be:
- from higher income groups
- from rural areas
- from less deprived areas
- 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’.
- For informal volunteering, the most common unpaid activities were ‘keeping in touch with someone who is at risk of being lonely’ (18 per cent), ‘babysitting or looking after children’ (15 per cent), ‘doing shopping, collecting pension or paying bills’ (12 per cent) and ‘routine household chores’ (11 per cent).
Culture and Heritage
- Nine in 10 (90 per cent) adults were culturally engaged in 2018, either by attending or visiting a cultural event or place or by participating in a cultural activity. Although this represents a decline since 2017, the level of cultural engagement in Scotland has increased by three percentage points since first recorded in 2007.
- The cultural engagement figure is made up of both cultural attendance and cultural participation.
- Around eight in 10 adults (81 per cent) in Scotland had recently attended or visited a cultural event or place of culture in 2018.
- The most popular form of cultural attendance was going to the cinema (56 per cent of adults) followed by visits to historical or archaeological places and attendance at live music events (both 34 per cent).
- Women, younger people, those with degrees or professional qualifications, those with good physical and mental health, those living in less deprived areas and those with a higher household income were most likely to attend cultural events. This profile has remained the same over time.
- Over three quarters (76 per cent) of adults participated in some form of cultural activity in 2018.
- By far the most popular form of cultural participation was reading books for pleasure (63 per cent).
- Cultural participation increased as deprivation decreased.
- The largest difference between those living in the 20 per cent least deprived areas and those living in the 20 per cent most deprived areas was for reading a book for pleasure (73 per cent and 51 per cent, respectively).
- About a quarter of adults (24 per cent) had not participated in any cultural activity in the last 12 months.
- Overall participation in cultural activities was higher among women, those with degrees or professional qualifications, those with good physical and mental health, those living in less deprived areas and those with a higher household income.
- The overall level of cultural participation did not change with age. However, the types of cultural activities people participated in changed with age for most activities.
Cultural services provided by local authorities
- Satisfaction with local authority cultural services varied by type of service.
- Between 2007 and 2018 satisfaction with libraries decreased by ten percentage points from 55 per cent to 45 per cent. Despite an overall decrease in satisfaction with libraries in recent years, this was accompanied by an increase in ’neither satisfied or dissatisfied‘. Levels of dissatisfaction have maintained around three per cent.
- Satisfaction with theatre or concert hall services has maintained since 2007 whilst satisfaction with museums and galleries has improved.
In 2018, over eight in 10 adults who had used local authority cultural services were very or fairly satisfied with their provision.
- Questions on childcare were included in Scottish Household Survey for the first time in 2018. Therefore, yearly comparisons are not available for this topic.
- Overall, 80 per cent of households with a two- to five-year-old used some form of childcare in 2018.
- The majority (63 per cent) of families stated that the main reason they used childcare was so that they could work.
Types of childcare
- Use of local authority childcare increased as area deprivation increased. 63 per cent of households with two- to five-year-olds reported that they use childcare so that parents/carers can work. This increases as area deprivations decreases.
Hours of Childcare used
- Of the households who used childcare, almost half (45 per cent) used between 11 and 20 hours per week during term-time. A further 23 per cent used between 21 and 30 hours of childcare, and 12 per cent used more than 30 hours.
Use of funded childcare
- Around half of parents/carers with three- and four-year-olds used between 11 and 20 hours of funded childcare compared with only six per cent of parents/carers with two-year-olds. The percentage using funded childcare was a lot lower for two-year-olds as only some children of this age are entitled to funded provision.
Childcare costs and affordability
- More than half of households (52 per cent) either did not pay for childcare during school term-time or all childcare used was funded by the local authority or Scottish Government. The proportion of households who paid for childcare increased as area deprivation levels decreased. The majority of households (72 per cent) said that they did not find it difficult to afford childcare. However, 17 per cent of households said they found it difficult to afford childcare and 11 per cent stated it was very difficult.
- Religious belonging in Scotland has been declining and this trend continued into 2018.
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.
- The full statistical publication and the SHS Key Findings are available on the Scottish Government website.
- 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 on the Scottish Government website.
- 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.
- Whilst the SHS 2018 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.
- Housing Statistics for Scotland (to be published on 24th September 2019). A full range of housing statistics is published annually. The Housing Statistics for Scotland 2019: 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.
- 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 2019 through the SHCS Key Findings Report and will be available through the SHCS website.
- Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed on the Scottish Government website.