Insights into key equality outcomes across Scotland

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Detailed local area and equality group analysis was released today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician. The Scottish Surveys Core Questions 2016 tells us about age and gender groups, disabled people, ethnic and religious groups, LGB people and smaller regions of Scotland.

The findings show a link between deprivation and poorer health outcomes. However since 2012, adults in the 20% most deprived areas were increasingly likely to report that the crime rate in their local area has stayed the same or fallen and have increased confidence in the police.

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

  • under 35,
  • disabled people
  • Roman Catholic or Muslim
  • from the White: Polish or the “all other” ethnic group (including those people identifying as mixed or multiple ethnic group, African, Caribbean or Black, Arab or “Other”)

Around a fifth of adults in Scotland smoke. Between 2012-2016 there has been a clear reduction in smoking rates across all ages under 75, both genders and all levels of deprivation. The “White: Polish” ethnic group has higher smoking rates than the Scottish national average. Smoking among the “Asian” group is lower than average, driven by a rate less than 5% among Asian women.

Since 2012, there has been a reduction in the proportion of those aged 55 and over reporting long-term limiting health conditions. The rate of such conditions has increased among 16-24 year olds over the long term, likely associated with the increased survivability of childhood illnesses.

People identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual or other sexual orientation reported poorer levels of general health, higher rates of long-term limiting health conditions and smoking and lower mental wellbeing scores compared to heterosexual people.

Members of the Church of Scotland, Roman Catholics and “Other Christian” groups are more likely to report providing unpaid care compared to others.


The full statistical publication – Scottish Surveys Core Questions 2016 – is available at

As the fifth in the series of SSCQ annual publications, this report contains information about the change in many of the indicators over the period 2012-2016 at national level, among equalities groups and subnational analysis.

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

Data in SSCQ is collated from the three major population surveys run by the Scottish Government. These surveys – Scottish Crime & Justice, Health and Household Surveys (SCJS, SHeS and SHS) – are randomly sampled, face-to-face surveys meeting the highest standards of impartiality and statistical rigour.

This information has been useful for public bodies for resource planning, academic researchers in minority health and epidemiology and among advocacy groups.

Official statistics are produced in accordance with professional standards  – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at:


Media enquiries

Back to top