Core questions are those that will be included in all Scottish Government cross-sectional surveys (from January 2012) and from which data will be pooled to provide improved estimates (see the Long Term Strategy and associated Delivery Plan for more information).
Please note that there is no need for the questions to all be asked as a block in any survey - they can each be added into surveys at the most appropriate point, so they do not seem incoherent to participants, although it is necessary to think about the effect that placement may have on responses.
The questions cover the following topics:
Household grid (household relationship matrix / household type)
Age / Date of birth
Legal marital or civil partnership status
Religion / Belief
Car ownership or access
Country of birth
Perception of local crime rate
Perception of local police performance
Harmonised Questions are those that may occur in more than one survey for which it is desirable to use the same wording and response categories to aid comparability. There are currently harmonised questions for:
Number of rooms
Number of bedrooms
Mode of transport to work/school
Living as a couple
Disability and Long Term Health - Impairments
Click here to see details of core and harmonised questions.
The topic coverage of the core questions were reviewed following a ScotStat consultation with survey users in Summer 2010. A paper summarising the background, criteria applied, consultation responses received and decisions taken can be accessed here: Background and results of the 2010 Core Question Review
Scottish Government commissioned research to assess the possibility of mode and sequencing effects for three of the core questions: Sexual Identity; Mental Wellbeing; and Perception of Local Crime Rate. A report of the research results can be seen here.
If you have any comments or queries relating to the core or harmonised questions, please contact the Survey Methodology and Co-ordination team in the Office of the Chief Statistician on 0131 244 3339.