Introduction: Scotland has changed a lot in 20 years
The Scottish Household Survey began collecting data in 1999. In 2019, it celebrated its 20-year anniversary. This publication synthesises 20 years of change in Scottish society as measured by Scottish Household Survey data.
This report highlights the different experiences and views of diverse household types in Scotland between 1999 and 2019 with a focus on housing, neighbourhood rating, economic activity and how households are managing financially.
It has a particular emphasis on single parent households, older people (aged 60 or over), younger people (aged 16 to 24), women in the workforce and inequality.
This publication accompanies the Scottish Household Survey Data Comic: Twenty Years of Scotland's People and an Excel Spreadsheet containing detailed tables on 20 year change.
The SHS gives an insight into changes in inequality in Scotland
The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) was introduced in 2004. This greatly helped in looking at inequalities across Scotland, but we want to go further back than that.
To measure how inequality has changed between 1999 and 2019, the methodology of the comparison of the 20% lowest income household and the 20% highest income households was adopted.
This publication will give a brief overview of the increasing and decreasing trends over the 20 years for each topic then a more in-depth breakdown of each significant change.
SHS data and analysis has shaped policy across Scotland – but it is not only used by the government! It is also used by charities and academics. Anyone can access and use the survey data online in our new Data Explorer.
Many people have chosen to take part in the survey
The Scottish Household Survey has given people in Scotland the chance to share their views and experiences on a range of issues and help shape public services locally and in Scotland as a whole.
Every year, the SHS asks a set of questions to a sample of the population living in Scotland – they are selected randomly and can therefore represent the people of Scotland.
These questions cover a great range of topics. Not every adult is asked every question, and not every question is asked every year. This means that SHS data is at its best when looking at changes over longer periods of time.
Over 270,000 households have participated in the household section of the interview
Over 400,000 adults have participated in the random adult section of the interview