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Scotland’s People: Results from the 2015 Scottish Household Survey

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2 The Composition and Characteristics of Household Members, Adults and Households in Scotland

2.1 Introduction and Context

To set the scene for the subsequent analysis, this chapter briefly presents information on selected characteristics of all household members, of adults and of houses. Similarly to the last year's results, we are reporting house characteristics outwith an annex. The characteristics of adults, houses and the Highest Income Householder (HIH) are used in this report as variables to examine SHS questions in the chapters that follow.

The collection of data on protected equality characteristics (age, disability, ethnicity, religion, sex, and sexual orientation) provides an important contribution to the overall equality evidence base, which is used by policy makers to target services and tackle discrimination and disadvantage. The Scottish Household Survey (SHS) collects information about all household members, including children, from the household respondent. This information is used principally for selecting the data of particular groups for further cross-cutting analysis or for use as background variables when analyzing other topics.

The age and number of people in the household are combined in 'household type', a variable which is used to examine the relationship of household composition with a number of different topics throughout this report.

2.2 All Household Members

The characteristics of all household members, including children, are ascertained from the responses of the reference person in the household. The gender and age of all household members as well as whether a household member has a long term illness or disability are presented in Table 2.1. Due to the method of collecting this data, the household member characteristics of gender and age will be accurately reported. However, whether a member of the household has a long standing illness or disability is thought to be under reported as the household reference person may not know of individuals conditions.

Table 2.1: Characteristics of household members

Column percentages, 2015 data

All household members

Gender
Male 49
Female 51
Total 100
Base 22,610
Age
0-15 17
16-24 11
25-34 13
35-44 12
45-59 22
60-74 17
75+ 8
Total 100
Base 22,610
Long-term physical or mental health condition
Yes 23
No 77
Total 100
Base 22,520

2.3 Adults in Private Households

Table 2.2 presents equalities characteristics of adults, based on those selected to take part in the 'random adult' interview. These tables provide estimates for age, gender, marital status, ethnicity, current economic situation of all adults and working age adults, whether they have a long term illness or disability, sexual orientation and religion of adults in Scotland.

Table 2.2: Characteristics of adults

Column percentages, 2015 data

Adult

Gender
Male 48
Female 52
Total 100
Base 9,410
Age
16-24 14
25-34 16
35-44 15
45-59 26
60-74 20
75+ 9
Total 100
Base 9,410
Marital status
Never married and never registered a same-sex civil partnership 35
Married 47
In a registered same-sex civil partnership 0
Separated, but still legally married 2
Separated, but still legally in a same-sex civil partnership. 1
Divorced 8
Formerly in a same-sex civil partnership which is now legally dissolved. 0
Widowed. 7
Surviving partner from a same-sex civil partnership 0
Refused -
Total 100
Base 9,410
Long-term physical or mental health condition
Yes 29
No 71
Total 100
Base 9,370
Ethnicity
White 96.3
Scottish 78.9
Other British 12.1
Irish 0.7
Gypsy / Traveller 0.0
Polish 1.8
Other white ethnic group 2.8
Any mixed or multiple ethnic groups 0.1
Asian 2.4
Pakistani, Pakistani Scottish or Pakistani British 0.8
Indian, Indian Scottish or Indian British 0.9
Bangladeshi, Bangladeshi Scottish or Bangladeshi British 0.1
Chinese, Chinese Scottish or Chinese British 0.4
Other Asian ethnic group 0.3
African 0.5
African, African Scottish or African British 0.2
Other African ethnic group 0.2
Caribbean or Black 0.1
Caribbean, Caribbean Scottish or Caribbean British 0.1
Black, Black Scottish or Black British 0.0
Other Caribbean or Black ethnic group 0.0
Other Ethnic Group 0.6
Arab, Arab Scottish or Arab British 0.1
Any other ethnic group 0.4
Don't know 0.0
Refused 0.0
Total 100
Base 9,410
Religion
None 49.8
Church of Scotland 25.3
Roman Catholic 14.1
Other Christian 7.6
Muslim 1.4
Buddhist 0.2
Sikh 0.2
Jewish 0.1
Hindu 0.5
Pagan 0.1
Another religion 0.7
Total 100
Base 9,410
Economic status (all adults)
Self employed 6
Employed full time 38
Employed part time 11
Looking after the home or family 5
Permanently retired from work 24
Unemployed and seeking work 4
At school 2
In further / higher education 6
Gov't work or training scheme 0
Permanently sick or disabled 4
Unable to work because of short-term illness or injury 1
Other 0
Total 100
Base 9,410
Economic status (working age adults)
Self employed 7
Employed full time 48
Employed part time 13
Looking after the home or family 7
Permanently retired from work 5
Unemployed and seeking work 5
At school 2
In further / higher education 7
Gov't work or training scheme 0
Permanently sick or disabled 5
Unable to work because of short-term illness or injury 1
Other 0
Total 100
Base 6,590
Sexual orientation Male Female All
Heterosexual/Straight 97.8 98.4 98.1
Gay/Lesbian 1.1 0.5 0.8
Bisexual 0.2 0.2 0.2
Other 0.2 0.2 0.2
Refused 0.7 0.7 0.7
Total 100 100 100
Base 4,240 5,160 9,410

The question on sexual orientation was introduced to the SHS in 2011 as one of the Scottish Government's "core" questions. Developed by the Office for National Statistics , the question was designed to provide accurate statistics to underpin the equality monitoring responsibilities of public sector organisations and to assess the disadvantage or relative discrimination experienced by the lesbian, gay and bisexual population. It should be noted that estimates on self-identified sexual orientation from the SHS are likely to under-represent the lesbian, gay and bisexual population. Potential reasons for this are discussed in Annex 2: Glossary.

Since the harmonised religion question was introduced to the SHS in 2009, there has been an upward trend in the proportion of adults reporting not having a religion, from 40 per cent in 2009 to 50 per cent in 2015 (Figure 2.1). There has also been a corresponding decrease in the proportion reporting 'Church of Scotland', from 34 per cent to 25 per cent.

Figure 2.1: Religion of adults by year

2015 data, Adults (minimum base: 9,410)

Figure 2.1: Religion of adults by year

Figure 2.2 shows the relationships between current marital status and adults of different ages. Of those adults aged 16 to 24 in 2015, the vast majority (96 per cent) have never been married or been in a same sex civil partnership. For those in the age bands between 35 to 74, marriage is the predominant status and accounts for 61 per cent of adults across these categories. The proportion married or in a civil partnership then drops off slightly for those aged 75 or over (45 per cent) with a similar proportion (43 per cent) in this age group reporting being widowed or a bereaved civil partner. Table 2.3 shows the percentage of each marital status category who are aged 16 to 24, 25 to 34 and so on[20].

Figure 2.2: Current marital status of adults by age

2015 data, Adults (minimum base: 750)

Figure 2.2: Current marital status of adults by age

Table 2.3: Marital status and age of population

Row percentages, 2014 data

16-24 25-34 35-44 45-59 60-74 75+ Total Base
Single, never been married/in civil partnership 38 30 15 12 4 2 100 2,950
Married/Civil partnership 1 10 18 35 27 9 100 3,840
Divorced/Seperated 0 6 14 47 28 5 100 1,420
Widowed/Bereaved civil partner - 0 0 8 37 55 100 1,200
All 14 16 15 26 20 9 100 9,410

2.4 Household Characteristics

Table 2.4 provides estimates of geographical characteristics (Scottish Index of Multiple deprivation and urban/rural classifications), property type, household type, tenure and net household income for house in Scotland.

Household type is derived from the details collected from the household respondent about all household members, using a combination of age and number of people in the household. Full definitions of each household type are included in Annex 2: Glossary. Combining the data in this way provides an indicator of the life stage and family circumstance of households.

Table 2.4: The characteristics of households in Scotland

Column percentages, 2015 data

Household Type
Single adult 20
Small adult 20
Single parent 5
Small family 12
Large family 5
Large adult 9
Older smaller 13
Single older 15
Total 100
Base 10,330
Property Type
A house or bungalow 64.8
A flat, maisonette or apartment (including four-in-a-block or conversion) 34.9
A room or rooms 0.0
A caravan, mobile home or a houseboat 0.1
Some other kind of accommodation 0.2
Total 100
Base 10,330
Tenure
Owner occupied 61
Social rented 23
Private rented 14
Other 1
Total 100
Base 10,330
Urban/Rural classification
Large urban areas 36
Other urban areas 35
Accessible small towns 9
Remote small towns 3
Accessible rural 11
Remote rural 6
Total 100
Base 10,330
SIMD quintiles
1 - Most Deprived 21
2 20
3 21
4 20
5 - Least Deprived 18
Total 100
Base 10,330
Total household income
£0 - £6000 3
£6001 - £10000 9
£10001 - £15000 18
£15001 - £20000 16
£20001 - £25000 12
£25001 - £30000 9
£30001 - £40000 15
£40001+ 18
Total 100
Base 9,980