Our satisfaction with our neighbourhoods has an important influence on the overall quality of our lives. In Scotland as a whole, more than 9 in 10 adults rate their neighbourhood as either very good or fairly good. However, the neighbourhood rating is significantly lower in more deprived areas. For example, in 2012, 79% of adults in the 10% most deprived areas of Scotland rated their neighbourhood as either good or fairly good compared to almost all (99%) of those in the 10% least deprived areas. As the most deprived communities become safer and stronger, neighbourhood satisfaction will increase in these areas and for Scotland as a whole.
Satisfaction and dissatisfaction with our neighbourhoods is governed by a wide range of factors including: the local physical environment; convenience of services such as shops and public transport; the behaviour of others in the neighbourhood; and perceptions of personal safety.
The perceived prevalence of anti-social behaviour has been found to be a key factor influencing respondent’s overall perception of their neighbourhood as being rated poor. In 2013, the most prevalent problems were animal nuisance such as noise or dog fouling (31%) and rubbish or litter lying around (27%) being considered very or fairly common in their neighbourhood. After rubbish and fouling, the most common issues fall under the 'general anti-social behaviour' category with rowdy behaviour (13%) the next most prevalent.
Making communities safer remains a top priority for this Government. The Building Safer Communities Programme envisions a flourishing, optimistic Scotland in which resilient communities, families and individuals live safe from crime, disorder and danger. The programme seeks to help communities, national and local partners to work together to achieve this, starting with an aim to reduce the number of victims of crime; and reduce the number of victims of unintentional injuries. As one of the Justice Change Programmes, Building Safer Communities takes a collaborative approach, making best use of assets – the strengths that already exist – and applying improvement science to bring about transformational change.
We are also taking action through our Regeneration Strategy, ‘Achieving A Sustainable Future’, which sets out to respond to challenges faced by our most disadvantaged communities. Our focus on community-led regeneration helps to strengthen and empower our communities to help bring about meaningful change at a local level. We recognise the assets within our communities and will build on them to ensure we have economically, physically and socially sustainable communities, focussing on: well-planned neighbourhoods and local areas that are places where people want to live, work and invest; providing access to jobs and support for business; and aiming to meet the needs of local people.
Overall ratings of neighbourhood have been consistently high, with over nine in ten adults typically saying their neighbourhood is a ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ good place to live. The percentage of people who rate their neighbourhood as a very good place to live had been gradually increasing from 51.1% in 2006 to 55.9% in 2011 remaining around this level since. The figure is at 56.3% in 2015.
The data is available at the bottom of the page.
There is a pattern in perceived neighbourhood ratings between urban and rural areas. People living in remote rural areas are the most likely to rate their neighbourhood as a very good place to live (73% of adults in 2015), compared to around half for those living in urban areas (50% in large urban areas).
Deprivation reveals further area-based differences, as the proportion rating their neighbourhood as very good increases significantly as deprivation declines. Of those living in the 20% most deprived areas of Scotland in 2015, 33% rate their neighbourhood as a very good place to live, rising to 75% for those living in the 20% least deprived areas.
Neighbourhood perceptions increase with age - 46% of adults aged 16 to 24 rated their neighbourhood as a very good place to live, increasing to 70% of adults aged 75 and over. Females have consistently rated their neighbourhood higher than males with males and females following the same broad pattern of change over time since 1999 (when the survey began). Adults from a minority ethnic group have been generally less likely to rate their neighbourhood as a very good place to live compared to adults from a white ethnic background (49% compared to 57%, respectively in 2015), though the figures for minority ethnic groups are subject to larger year on year fluctuation due to small base sizes.
The data is available at the bottom of the page.
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 that 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. Had the criteria not been changed current performance would have been assessed as improving.
For information on general methodological approach, please click here.
Scotland Performs Technical Note
Community Planning Partnerships
National Violence Reduction Unit
Wealthier and Fairer
Safer and Stronger