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Summary: Ethnicity and Health, Social Care and Sport

Summary: Ethnicity and Health, Social Care and Sport

  • In the year to 31 March 2015, 99% of the people who received home care and their ethnicity was known, were of 'White' ethnicity.
  • In the year to 31 March 2015, 96% of the people who received direct payments and their ethnicity was known, were of 'White' ethnicity. This is in line with the latest census figure in 2011 that reported that 96% of the Scottish population were white.

Source: Social Care Survey, 2015

  • Carers - 96% of people who provide unpaid care to a relative, friend or neighbour are from a “White Scottish/British/Irish” ethnic background.

Source: Scotland’s Carers

  • In 2014, when the differing age profile of ethnic groups are taken into account, the "White: Other British" and "White: Other" groups have significantly higher levels of good/very good general health compared to the "White: Scottish" majority.

  • In 2014, accounting for age differences, only the "White: Other British" groups is significantly different to the national average level of long-term limiting health conditions, around 4 percentage points lower than the "White: Scottish" majority.

  • In 2014, the "White: Polish" group has higher smoking rates than the national average; for "White: Other British" and "Asian" subgroups, the rate is lower. There are also significant differences between sexes across most ethnic groups, the prevalence among women being lower.

  • In 2014, mental wellbeing is lower in the "White: Scottish" group than in all other "White" ethnic subgroups. Differences for the "Asian" and "All other ethnic groups" are not statistically significant after age standardisation.

Source: Scottish Surveys Core Questions (SSCQ) 2014


  • White British respondents had the lowest levels of wellbeing of all ethnic groups (mean WEMWBS score of 49.8). This was significantly lower than that the scores of White Other (51.2), African, Caribbean or Black (53.7) and Asian Other (53.5) ethnic groups. 
  • Chinese respondents were the most likely to rate their health as good or very good (91%) and this was significantly different from the national average.

Source: Scottish Health Survey Topic Report: Equality Groups


  • In the case of ethnicity, due to small numbers, responses in the inpatient survey were grouped into white and non-white. There were generally no differences in the experiences of white and non-white patients. However there may have been variations within these groups.
  • For the patient primary care survey, it was possible to compare Asian, Asian Scottish or Asian British; Mixed or multiple ethnic groups; African, Caribbean or Black; and Other ethnic groups with the White group. The effects of ethnicity on experiences were generally quite weak, but where there were differences they showed that certain ethnic groups (Asian, Asian Scottish or Asian British and other ethnic groups) tended to report less positive experiences. African, Caribbean or Black patients reported a similar experience to White patients.
  • It is not clear how any differences can be explained, for example whether they can be accounted for by actual differences in the quality of care provided or different cultural expectations between population groups. More details can be found in the following reports.

Sources: Variations in the Experiences of Primary Care Patients: Analysis of the Scottish Patient Experience Survey of GP and Local NHS Services 2011/12

Variations in the Experience of Inpatients in Scotland: Analysis of the 2010 Inpatient Survey


  • As at end March 2016, 65.0% of staff employed by NHSScotland declared their ethnicity as White, 0.3% as Mixed, 1.9% as Asian, 0.6% as Black and 0.3% as Other.  Ethnicity is unknown or not declared for 31.9% of staff.  (Information on disability, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation is based on data from a self-reported questionnaire. As this is not mandatory, response rates and completion are variable across NHSScotland.)

Source: ISD: NHSScotland Workforce Statistics


Useful Links

Ethnicity Page

Health, Social Care and Sport Page

National Performance Framework

National Performance Framework

Fifty National Indicators enable progress towards the achievement of the National Outcomes and ultimately the delivery of the Purpose to be tracked.

Indicators are chosen to show how the Scottish Government are progressing on the range of Outcomes.

National Indicator number 26: Reduce the percentage of adults who smoke, data table

- progress against this National Indicator, broken down by Ethnicity, can be found under the 'What more do we know about the National indicator?' heading.

Publications and Outputs


Future Developments

Future Developments

Development of the website to include more interactive spreadsheets that provide additional anaylses to those in the publications

Health, Social Care and Housing - Data linking project

External Links

External Links

Please note that you will leave the Scottish Government web site by clicking on any of the following links, and that the Scottish Government and its staff are not responsible for content external to this web site.

The changing ethnic profiles of Glasgow and Scotland (September 2017) -  a report by Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH) aimed at providing a better understanding of the potential population health implications of the changing ethnic profiles of Scotland and, in particular, Glasgow

Improving ethnic data collection for equality and diversity monitoring 

Centre for Population Health Sciences

Does the 'Scottish Effect' apply to all ethnic groups? Scottish Health & Ethnicity Linkage Cohort study  - The Scottish Health & Ethnicity Linkage Study examined whether all cancers in the period 2001-2008, varied by 2001 Scottish Census ethnic group categories.

ISD Care Homes Publication

Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability - The Same as You? (eSAY Publication)

The NHS Health Scotland equality team webpages provide an introduction to equality, health inequalities and human rights in relation to health outcomes for each of the nine protected characteristics, signposting to qualitative research about access to services, practice guidance and case studies to help planners and practitioners design and deliver services which meet the needs of individuals and communities. Their Monthly Equalities Alert provides an update on the latest articles and journals covering health in relation to protected characteristics and population groups.



Health, Social Care & Sport