Insights into key equality outcomes across Scotland

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Figures of unprecedented detail for local areas and equality groups analysed over a three year period were released today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician.

The Scottish Surveys Core Questions draw data from the three major Scottish surveys (Health, Household and Crime & Justice) into one output. The accepted source of statistics at the Scotland level is from each of the three contributing surveys.

A free by-product of these existing surveys, SSCQ provides a rich source of outcomes data of over 21,000 people per year. This is a large sample and enables detailed and meaningful analysis for small equality characteristic groups, including ethnic groups, country of birth, sexual orientation, religious identity and disability. Statistics are also provided for sub-national geographies including Local Authorities, Health Boards and Police Scotland Division Areas.

The figures released today were produced by independent statistical staff in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. The following are a small sample of the breadth of insights now available.

The SSCQ data continues to show strong associations between deprivation and a range of poorer outcomes, like poor self-assessed general health, prevalence of smoking and disability and lower levels of mental wellbeing. However in the 2012-2014 period, adults in the 20% most deprived areas are increasingly likely to report that the crime rate in their local area has stayed the same or fallen.

Those in the most deprived areas are, compared to the Scottish population as a whole, more likely to be:

  • under 35,
  • disabled people
  • from the White: Polish or "all other" ethnic groups (including those people identifying as mixed or multiple ethnic group, African, Caribbean or Black, Arab or "Other")
  • Roman Catholics
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & other orientation
  • born in the EU outside the UK

Smoking rates amongst those with a limiting health condition is 40% higher than those without; however this has reduced from 2012 to 2014 at the same rate as the national level. Over the three years there has been a clear reduction in smoking rates overall, in particular for those aged 35-44 and 55-64. Those born in Scotland have also reported a clear reduction in smoking rates over time. The White Polish ethnic group has higher smoking rates than the Scottish national average.

Since 2012, there has been a significant reduction in the proportion of 55-64 and 65-74 year-olds reporting long-term limiting health conditions, falling 2.6 and 1.8 % points respectively.

Those born in the wider EU or UK but not Scotland report higher levels of good or very good health and have higher mental well-being scores compared to those born in Scotland. This is not an effect of the different age profiles in these groups. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and other sexual orientations also report poorer levels of general health and lower mental wellbeing scores compared to heterosexuals.

Members of the Church of Scotland are more likely to report providing unpaid care compared to other religions or those identifying as having no religion even when the age distribution of these different groups is taken into account.

Notes to editors

The full statistical publication Scottish Surveys Core Questions 2014 is available at

As the third in this SSCQ publications, this report for the first time contains information about the change in many of the indicators over the period 2012-2014 at national and subnational levels. Analysis of the following attributes of individuals and households are included in the main report or supplementary tables.

  • mental wellbeing
  • self assessed general health
  • perception of local crime rate
  • disability and long-term conditions
  • ethnicity
  • sexual orientation
  • age
  • economic activity
  • housing tenure
  • marital status
  • smoking
  • provision of unpaid care1
  • perceptions of police performance
  • country of birth
  • religion
  • sex
  • highest qualification held
  • household type
  • car access
  • deprivation

Also provided alongside this publication is a "Statistics in Development" report which takes a new statistical approach to analysing the information collected on people’s perceptions of police performance which can be found at:

Full background data covering all core questions including breakdown by sub Scotland geographies is provided in supplementary tables which can be found at:

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at:


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