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High Level Summary of Equality Statistics: Key Trends for Scotland 2006


Definitions and Caveats

Data from surveys

There are limitations in how far some topics can be disaggregated by the equality dimensions included in this publication. Data taken from sample surveys often contain small numbers, particularly in the case of ethnicity and to a lesser extent disability. Such data are prone to sampling error and trends based on such data can show a high degree of volatility. In such instances, data may have been combined for multiple years or multiple ethnic groups, whilst in other cases data may be shown for a single year only. In other instances small data may have been suppressed in order to protect individuals' confidentiality.


Information on disability in Scotland is collected by the Scottish Executive and other organisations using both administrative and survey sources. However, the exact information collected and the definition of disability which is employed, differ between data collections depending on the reasons for the collection. Overall however data are collected in line with the definition of disability outlined in the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. This publication presents information on disability using data from a number of these different sources and, as such, the disability categories used differ within and across topics in some cases. More detailed information on this and related issues can be found in the Scottish Executive publication entitled the Social Focus on Disability 2004 ( http://www.scotland.gov.uk/socialfocusondisability). The Scottish Executive is currently working towards a harmonised definition of disability on its core surveys.


Information on Scotland's ethnic groups is collected by the Scottish Executive and other organisations using administrative and survey sources and has also been collected by the General Register Office for Scotland ( GROS) on the 1991 and 2001 Census. The majority of data collections currently define and classify ethnic groups according to the definition and classification adopted on the 2001 Census. However there are slight differences across data collections in the categories used to describe certain ethnic groups and some collections report more ethnic groups than others. These differences depend on the reasons for the collection and the size of the sample or administrative dataset. This publication presents information on ethnic group using data from a number of these different sources and, as such, the ethnic group categories used differ within and across topics in some cases. The next Census will take place in 2011 and the Scottish Executive is currently reviewing the 2001 ethnicity classification. Further information on the review is provided in chapter 1 of this publication.

Research Links

Where statistics are not available by any of the above equality dimensions, web links to relevant qualitative research have been provided, where possible. In the main, this relates to statistics on ethnicity.

Possible reasons underlying any differences reported in this publication are not discussed here. Factors which contribute to differences between equality groups represent a complex interplay of cultural, demographic and socio-economic factors and, as such are outwith the scope of this publication.

Sexual Orientation and LGBT Groups

The publication does not disaggregate topics by sexual orientation or provide data for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender ( LGBT) groups. Quantitative data for these groups are not widely collected by central government. It has proven difficult to collect this information on sample surveys partly because it is difficult to establish a robust sample frame. Such information may be deemed to be private and personal by many respondents and agreement on a standard classification scheme for sexual orientation has yet to be fully established. For similar reasons, statistics on sexual orientation and LGBT groups are also rarely collected on administrative data collections. However, a selection of research and other information on sexual orientation and LGBT issues has been undertaken and a range of this is available on the Scottish Executive equality web site at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/People/Equality/SexualOrientation/intro. The Office of the Chief Statistician ( OCS) plan to further investigate the issues outlined above in 2007.

Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics ( SNS)

This publication presents data at Scotland level and by deprived areas in some cases but data at local level are not provided. A variety of local level data are available using the links provided and can also be accessed on-line from the Scottish Executive's Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics ( SNS) website at http://www.sns.gov.uk is the Executive's on-going programme to improve the availability, consistency and accessibility of small area statistics in Scotland and is the main way which the Executive will disseminate small area statistics. SNS provides information on health, education, poverty, unemployment, housing, population, crime and social/ community issues at the data zone level and above and breakdowns are available by age and gender in many cases and by ethnicity and disability for some topics.