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Data Sources and Suitability

Data sources and suitability - introduction

This page lists and describes some of the main official data sources available to statistical users interested in planning in Scotland. The reliability, accuracy and suitability of each source is discussed. The sources are organised into three groups according to the smallest geographical area for which data are available: 'National and International', 'Sub Scotland (including local authority level data)' and 'datazone level'. Future developments in official planning statistics are also discussed.

Data sources and suitability - contents

National and International data

Sub Scotland level data

Datazone level data

Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification ( SGUR)

The Scottish Government 6-fold and 8-fold urban rural classifications are intended to provide a consistent way of defining urban and rural areas across Scotland. Two main criteria have been used to develop the SG 6-fold and 8-fold urban rural classifications: population as defined by the General Register Office for Scotland ( GROS) and accessibility based on drive time analysis to differentiate between accessible and remote areas in Scotland.

The 6-fold measure is used within the Affordable Housing survey. It is a reliable method of identifying the distribution of affordable housing being built across the six basic types of settlements, and also the proportions of public and private funding being used in each category.

Scottish Housing Market Review

Figures on house prices at a local authority level are obtained from this publication, and are used to provide an illustration of how the local affordability of housing is changing from year in the Local Authority profile pages. This is a robust source of data which combines house sales data with apartment size of property (obtained from Council Tax data) by matching address details. Further detail is available in Appendix 2 of the Review.

Population & Household Statistics - National Records of Scotland (NRS).

The official source of population statistics for Scotland, the Profile Pages for each authority contain NRS data on population from the 2001 census, the latest Mid-Year Estimate of population, and a projection, currently to 2016. These figures illustrate the local trends and are a useful guide to current and future housing demand in the Authority.

Further figures obtained from NRS are data on numbers of occupied census dwellings in the authority.

Housing Statistics for Scotland

This publication is a collection of statistics on housing completions and various other related topics such as demolitions, public housing stock, social sector sales and Houses in Multiple Occupation. They replaced the Quarterly Housing Trends In Scotland in publication, and sections are updated on a regular basis.

The data is generally available at a Scotland and Local Authority level, and it is brought together in an annual Key Trends Summary.

Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation ( SIMD)

SIMD is the official Scottish Government tool for highlighting areas of concentrated deprivation in Scotland. It contains thirty-seven indicators across seven domains (Current Income, Employment, Health, Education, Skills and Training, Geographic Access to Services, and Housing and Crime), and each datazone in Scotland is ranked according to its overall SIMD score, with the first ranked datazone deemed to be the most deprived.

Between 2005 and 2008, the Scottish Vacant and Derelict Land Survey (SVDLS) included figures detailing the proportion of derelict land located within the 15% most deprived (top 975) datazones. Furthermore, the Vacant and Derelict Land Fund (VDLF) is allocated in part on the basis of the concentration of the most deprived datazones within Local Authorities, and the amount of properties within 500m of land reclaimed using the VDLF (within and outwith the 15% most deprived datazones) has been monitored in the SVDLS.

In the Affordable Housing survey, the datazones are split into deciles (from 1 (most deprived) to 10 (least deprived) to monitor the distribution of affordable housing. It had traditionally been the case that most affordable housing has been built in more deprived areas, mainly due to the availability of relatively cheap land. However, it is an objective of the survey to encourage a more even spread of affordable housing provision across Scotland, so the SIMD is a useful measure of how much this is occurring.

There have been two releases of SIMD data so far (in 2004 and 2006), and the next one is due in 2009. This may cause some significant changes to the relative distributions of the most deprived datazones, and the surveys will work on the new basis where possible to remain relevant.

SIMD data are available from www.sns.gov.uk and http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/SIMD/.