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Key Statistics

This webpage contains key statistics about women and men in Scotland. Most of these statistics are taken from A Gender Audit of Statistics: Comparing the Position of Women and Men in Scotland which you can read in full on the Executive website.

You can browse the statistics according to categories such as income, health etc by clicking on on the table below.

Political and Public LifeCriminal JusticeTransport
IncomeEducation and TrainingLabour Market
Care Provision and Carers



Political and public life Ballot box
  • In 2006, 14% of MPs for Scottish constituencies in the UK Parliament were women and 86% were men.
  • In 2007, 33% of MSPs in the Scottish Parliament are women (down from 39% in the 2003 elections).
  • In 2006, 29% of MEPs from Scotland were women and and 71% were men.
  • In 2003, 22% of those elected as councillors were women and 78% were men.
  • At the beginning of 2007, 19% of local council leaders were women and 81% were men, while 13% of local authority Chief Executives were women and and 87% were men.
  • In 2006, 34% of appointments to Scottish Executive sponsored non-departmental public bodies were women and 17% of chairs of such bodies were women.
  • In 2005, women and men participated in voluntary activities in very similar proportions, 21% of women and 19% of men.

Criminal Justice fingerprint
  • In 2004/05 there were 56 males per 1,000 of the population with a charge proved against them, compared to 10 females per 1,000 of the population.
  • Men were more likely than women to receive custodial sentences for crimes/offences committed, with 14% of all males with a charge proved being sent to prison in 2004/05 compared to 6% of women with a charge proved being sent to prison.
  • Similar proportions of men and women with a charge proved received community sentences (around 12%) and financial penalties (around 63%).
  • The majority of solved homicides cases in the decade 1995/96 to 2004/05 involved males killing males (72%).
  • The average number of males in prison has been much greater than the average number of females in prison in the period from 1997/98 to 2005/06. Numbers have been rising for both men and women, but the rate of increase in this period has been much faster for women than men, 80% compared to 11%.
  • Data from the 2000 Scottish Crime Survey indicated that almost one in five of female respondents reported having ever experienced threats of force from a partner or ex-partner compared with 8% of males.
  • Of all incidents of domestic abuse recorded by the police in 2005, in 85% of cases the victim was female and the perpetrator was male.
  • Women were much more likely than men to report feeling unsafe walking alone after dark, with 43.6% of women reporting this compared to 18.2% of men in 2003.
  • In 2006, women were 15% of judges and men were 85%, while women were 20% of sheriffs and men were 80%.
  • In 2005, women were 21% of police officers and men were 79%. Women were 7% of Chief Inspectors and men were 93%.

Transport Hands on a steering wheel
  • Men are more likely than women to hold full-driving licences, with 78% of men aged 17 and over doing so in 2005, compared to 58% of women aged 17 and over.
  • Men are more likely than women to have access to a car for their private use, with 79% of men in households where the highest income earner was male doing so in 2005, compared to 52% of women in households where the highest income earner was female.
  • Men were less likely than women to use local bus services, with 63% of men not having used them compared to 52% of women in 2005.
  • Women were less likely than men to feel safe travelling on a bus in the evening, with 47% of women saying they felt very safe or fairly safe compared to 63% of men in 2004.
  • In 2005, women were more likely than men to walk to work, 15% compared to 10%, while men were more likely than women to drive to work, 65% compared to 56%.

Income Money
  • According to the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) 2007, the gender pay gap is now 15% based on average hourly earnings for full-time staff. If we compare women working part-time with men working full-time, the gap is even more profound - 35%.

  • Looking at a comparison of weekly earnings of full-time workers, in 1970 women full-time workers earned on average 54% of male full-time workers' average earnings. By 2003 women's weekly earnings had increased to 77% of men's. Between 1998 and 2005 women's weekly earnings as a proportion of men's increased from 72% to 81%.
  • Women's earnings are significantly affected by the concentration of women in part-time jobs, while men working part-time are a small number of aytpical workers. Women part-timers' hourly rate compares favourably with that of male part-timers, with women earning 104% of men's hourly rate in 2005, an increase from 100% in 1997. However, a comparison of women part-timers' hourly pay (almost half of all women workers work part-time) with male full-timers' hourly pay (over 80% of men work full-time) indicates the disparity between women's and men's earning power. Women part-timers earned an hourly rate which was 63% of full-time men's hourly rate in 2005, an increase from 56% in 1997.
  • The gender earnings ratio varies by occupation. For example, in 2005 women full-time workers in professional occupations earned 86% of their male counterparts' earnings, while women process, plant and machine operatives earned 70% of men's earnings.
  • The gender earnings ratio also varies by industry. For example, in 2005 women full-time workers in education earned 91% of men's wages, while in manufacturing they earned 68% of men's average weekly earnings.
  • The gender earnings ratio is more equal in the public than in the private sector. In 2005 women's hourly pay in the public sector was 97% of men's hourly pay compared to 80% in the private sector.
  • The gender earnings ratio was effectively the same for disabled men and women as for non-disabled men and women in 2005, with women in both categories earning just over 87% of the earnings of men in both categories.
  • On average women's total individual incomes from all sources - earnings, income from financial assets or from benefits - were 60% of men's total individual incomes in 2002/03-2004/05. This represented an increase of 9 percentage points from a level of 51% in 1996/97-1998/99.
  • Households in which men are the highest income earners have household income levels which are higher than those in which women are the highest income earners. In 2005, 51% of households with a male HIH had an income of over £20,000 compared to 22% of households with a female HIH.
  • In 2003/04 equal proportions of men and women of working age were in Households Below Average Income, at 18%. Similarly equal proportions of male and female pensioners were in Households Below Average Income, at 18%. While proportions of working age adults at this income level had remained fairly stable since 1996/97, in the case of both male and female pensioners there was a significant decrease in proportions at this income level, in particular for female pensioners.
  • Of those claiming key benefits in 2000, women made up the majority at 57%. In 2006, women continued to make up the majority of claimants of key benefits at 53%. In particular women make up the majority of those dependent on State Pensions and Pension Credits, making up around 64% of claimants of both benefits in 2005.
  • Of all women workers, full-time and part-time taken together, 44% were without pension provision in 2004/05 compared to 37% of full-time male workers. Of women part-time workers 60% had no pension provision.
  • Of those employees who were members of occupational pension schemes in 2004/05 women full-time workers were most likely to be members, with 59% being in occupational pension schemes, compared to 53% of male full-time workers, and 33% of women part-time workers.

Education and Training Pupil
  • Girls are more likely than boys to stay on at secondary school after the compulsory school leaving age.

  • Girls are more likely to leave school with higher qualifications than boys.

  • In 2005 34,577 pupils (4.8%) had a Record of Needs or Individualised Educational Programme (6.7% of boys and 3.0% of girls). About a fifth of these have specific learning difficulties in language or maths (including dyslexia), or moderate learning difficulties and 27,540 (80% of them) are in mainstream schools. ( Pupils in Scotland 2005)

  • Boys are more likely than girls to be excluded from school, with boys making up 76% of those excluded from secondary schools in 2004/05.

  • The subject choices of girls and boys at secondary school are distributed differently, with girls being more likely than boys to study subjects such as Biology, Arts and Languages, and boys being more likely than girls to study Computing Studies and Physics.

  • Girls are more likely than boys to go on to Further Education and Higher Education on leaving school, while boys are more likely than girls to enter employment after leaving school.
  • In 2004/05 women were 57% of students in Further Education Colleges/Institutions, and men were 43%.
  • In 2005, a higher proportion of female (33%) than male (28%) employees received work-related training.
  • In 2005, women were 93% of primary school teachers and men were 7%. Women were 81% of primary school head teachers and men were 19%.
  • In 2005, women were 59% of secondary school teachers and men were 41%. Women were 21% of head teachers, and men were 79%.
  • In 2004/05, taking full-time and part-time academic staff together, women were 51% of Further Education College academic staff, and men were 49%.
  • In 2003/04, men were 60% of academic staff in Higher Education Institutions and women were 40%. Men were 86% of Professors and women were 14%.

Labour Market Photo of Jobcentre
  • Men are more likely to be economically active than are women, 83% compared to 76% in 2006, but the gender gap has been decreasing.
  • As women's participation in the labour market has increased, the gap between women's and men's employment rates had decreased, and was 5% in 2006 compared to 20% in 1984.
  • Unemployment has declined to a low level for both women and men, and was at 5% for women and 6% for men ( ILO unemployment measure) in 2005.
  • Women are far more likely to work part-time than are men, with 41% of all women workers working part-time in 2005, compared to 10% of male workers.
  • Women with dependent children of pre-school age are less likely to be in full-time employment, 24% in 2004, compared to 38% of women with dependent children aged 11-14, and 52% of women with dependent children aged 15 or over.
  • Women are more likely than men to use flexible working arrangements, 55% of women workers compared to 22% of male workers in 2005. Part-time work was the common form of flexible working arrangement.
  • Women and men are distributed differently across industrial sectors. In 2004, women made up the majority of employees in Public Administration, Education and Health (72%), Distribution, Hotels and Catering and Repairs (56%), and Banking, Finance and Insurance (51%). By contrast men made up the majority of employees in Construction (89%), Energy and Water Supply (82%), Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (75%), Manufacturing (73%), and Transport and Communication (72%).
  • Women and men are also distributed differently across occupational categories, with in 2006 women representing a large majority of workers in personal services (85%), administrative and secretarial occupations (81%), and sales and customer services occupations (71%). By contrast men represent the large majority of workers in the occupational categories of managers and senior officials (64%), process, plant and machine operatives (86%), and skilled trades (92%).
  • Women predominate in key public sector workforces such as teaching (93% of primary teachers, and 58% of secondary teachers in 2004), the NHS (78% in 2005) and local government (67% in 2005), but are under-represented in senior positions.
  • Men are more likely to be self-employed than women, with 13% of all male employees being self-employed compared to 6% of female employees in 2006.

Care provision and carers Community care
  • In 2004, the average weekly cost of nursery provision was £73 and the average weekly cost of a childminder was £109.
  • In 2003/04, of children aged 1-16 receiving childcare, 58% received informal care only, 14% received both informal and formal care, and 28% received formal care only.
  • In 2005, women made up 98% of pre-school education and childcare staff, and men made up 2%.
  • n 2006, boys made up 56% of children looked after by Social Work services, and girls made up 44%.
  • In 2006, boys were 76% of young people in secure accommodation, and girls were 24%.
  • In 2005, women were 59% of those providing care to people in their own homes, and men were 41%.
  • In 2005, women were 64% of those providing care to people outwith their home, and men were 36%.
  • In 2005, women were 62% of those requiring regular help and care, and men were 38%.
  • In 2005, women were 70% of those receiving home care services, and men were 30%.
  • In 2005, women were 74% of long stay residents in care homes, and men were 26%.
  • In 2005, of all staff working in local authority social work services staff 84% were female and 16% were male. Of those working in adult community care, 88% were female and 12% were male.

Health paramedic
  • There is a gender longevity gap. In 2005, women's life expectancy was 79.5 years, compared to 74.5 years for men.
  • The gap between life expectancy and healthy life expectancy is greater for women than for men, suggesting that they spend more years in poor health.
  • In 2005, cancer was the major cause of death for both women and men (for all ages), with men being more likely than women to die of cancer. Of the other major causes of death, coronary heart disease and strokes, men are more likely than women to die of the former, and women are more likely than men to die of the latter.
  • In 2003, breast cancer was the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women, and prostrate and lung cancers were the most frequently diagnosed cancers among men.
  • The incidence of cervical cancer has declined significantly from the early 1990s, and was at a rate of around 9 per 100,000 of the female population in 2003.
  • The incidence of prostate cancer has risen from 41.1 per 100,000 of the male population in 1980 to 78.4 per 100,000 of the male population in 2003.
  • Women are more likely than men to suffer from anxiety and depression, while men are more likely than women to commit suicide.
  • The rate of teenage pregnancies has tended to decline since the early 1990s. The teenage pregnancy rate for ages 13-19 overall for the year 2003/04 was 42.4 per 1,000, compared with 50.1 per 1,000 in 1991/92.
  • The abortion rate has been stable since the early to mid 1990s at around 11 per 1000 women aged 15-44.
  • The prevalence of smoking among both women and men has declined from around 30% in 1999 to 26% in 2005.
  • The proportion of men whose consumption of alcohol was over the recommended limit declined from 33% in 1995 to 27% in 2003, while the proportions of women whose consumption of alcohol was over the recommended limit has increased very slightly from 13% in 1995 to 14% in 2003.
  • The proportion of men who were overweight or obese increased from 56% in 1995 to 65% in 2003, while the proportion of women who were overweight or obese increased from 47% in 1995 to 60% in 2003.
  • The 2003 Scottish Health Survey estimated that in Scotland around 22% of men and 24% of women were obese. There has been a marked increase in the prevalence of obesity since 1995 when 16% of men and 17% of women were obese. Almost two-thirds of men (64%) and more than half of women (57%) were overweight (including obese) in 2003.
  • In 2003, women were less likely than men to have a high level of physical activity, 30% of women compared to 42% of men.
  • In 2005, women were 46% of GPs and men were 54%. Women were 90% of Nursing and Midwifery staff and men were 10%.

Housing housing
  • In 2005, around half of single pensioners owned their homes outright, 51% of men and 48% of women, with 42% of both male and female pensioners being in rented accommodation.
  • Single parents were least likely to be homeowners, with 68% being in rented accommodation in 2005.
  • The Scottish Household Survey estimates that 10% of male single parents own a property outright, compared to just 5% of single female parents in 2005.
  • 19% of female single parents rent from a housing association/ co-operative, compared to just 8% of male single parents.
  • Single men were more reliant than single women on rented accommodation in 2005, 50% compared with 43%.
  • In 2005, of households where men were the highest income earners, 74% were homeowners compared to 55% of households where women were the highest income earners.
  • In 2005, households where women were the highest income earners were more likely to be in rented accommodation than households where men were the highest income earners, 43% compared to 25%.
  • Of those making applications to local authorities under homelessness legislation lone parents and single men make up the biggest groups. In 2005/06, single males made up 43% of all applicants, while lone parents (female and male) made up 25% of all applicants.