Community spirit strengthens

Scottish Household Survey 2019.

Most people are happy with their neighbourhood, feel a strong sense of belonging and think their local heritage is well cared for, according to the latest Scottish Household Survey.

Concern about the environment has continued to grow, particularly among young people – the survey found that last year 69% of 16 to 24-year-olds agreed climate change was an immediate and urgent problem, up from 38% in 2013.

Meanwhile, more people were online than ever before, including older people, with 66% of over-60s now using the internet. However, the most common cultural activity was reading, with 62% of adults having read in the year before the survey was undertaken.

The survey found that:

  • 94% of adults said their neighbourhood was a good or fairly good place to live, while 78% said they felt a strong sense of belonging there
  • satisfaction with local schools rose to 73% from 71% in 2018, while satisfaction with public transport increased from 65% to 68%
  • 86% of adults agreed that it was important for Scotland’s heritage to be well looked after, with 69% agreeing that the heritage of their local area was already well cared for
  • 90% were culturally engaged, either by attending or visiting a cultural event or place, or by participating in a cultural activity

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said:

“I am pleased so many people have a strong sense of belonging to their neighbourhood, which contributes towards making Scotland a warm and friendly nation where everyone is welcome.

“Of course, this survey predates the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, but that sense of community spirit was vital during lockdown when we were all required to work together to help suppress the spread of the virus.

“The rise in digital connectivity will also have been hugely beneficial under lockdown, with more people than ever able to use the internet to buy essential supplies, keep in touch with friends or take part in cultural activities.

“As we set out in our Programme for Government, we are determined that our recovery from the crisis will be a green one. I share the concerns of so many people that climate change is an urgent problem, and through the 2019 Climate Change Act the Scottish Government enshrined in law its commitment to a just transition to net zero – in which wellbeing, fair work and social justice are prioritised and no-one is left behind.”


Scottish Household Survey 2019 Annual report

Scottish Household Survey 2019 Key Findings report

The Scottish Household Survey is the largest social survey of people across Scotland, giving them an opportunity to provide information to government on their experiences, views, attitudes and behaviours.  The survey has run since the outset of devolution in 1999.  It provides robust data on a wide range of different topics, including housing, neighbourhoods, sport and physical activity, internet use/digital engagement, views on local services, culture, the environment, and volunteering, at both national and local authority level.

This year 10,580 households took part in the survey.

Comparable survey data from 1999 to 2019 has been published on an interactive Data Explorer. For the first time national and local data has been published on the same day.


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