Living in Scotland in 2019

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Community feeling remains strong in Scotland with more than three-quarters of adults (78% in 2019) reporting a very or fairly strong sense of belonging to their neighbourhood. This figure has remained at this level since 2012.

  • 85% of adults agree they can rely on friends/relatives in their neighbourhood for support
  • 90% of adults agree they would assist neighbours in an emergency

Most people feel safe in Scotland.

  • 83% of adults feel very or fairly safe walking alone in their neighbourhood after dark – this figure remains similar to when the question was last asked in 2017.  This figure varies depending on how people rate their neighbourhood.   61% of adults who rated their neighbourhood as a very poor place to live felt a bit or very unsafe walking alone after dark in their neighbourhood.

Satisfaction with housing is high.  Nine in ten households are very or fairly satisfied with their housing.

The proportion of younger households aged between 16 to 34 in owner occupation was 38% in 2019, an increase of approximately 50,000 since 2014.

Satisfaction with public services presents a mixed picture

Over seven out of ten adults (73%) were satisfied with schools and 68% with public transport in 2019, having increased from 71% and 65%, respectively, in 2018. Eight in ten adults (80%) were satisfied with local health services in 2019, a decrease from 81% in 2018. Satisfaction with local health services, schools and transport have decreased from peaks of 88%, 85% and 76%, respectively, in 2011.

Over half of all adults (53%) were satisfied with all three services in 2019, similar to the previous year but down from a peak of almost two-thirds (66%) in 2011.

There is increased internet access.  The proportion of households with internet access was at a record high of 88% in 2019, with 97% of users accessing it at home. Internet use amongst older adults aged 60+ has since 2007 increased from 29% to 66%.

Most people can access satisfactory outdoor space such as parks, woods, rivers, coasts but people living in more deprived areas are less likely to live within a five minute walk.  Most adults (66%) lived within a five minute walk of their nearest area of green or blue space in 2019, around the same proportion since 2016. A smaller proportion of adults in deprived areas lived within a five minute walk of their nearest green or blue space compared to adults in the least deprived areas (62% compared to 67%). 73% of adults were very or fairly satisfied with their nearest area of green or blue space.

The trend of declining religious belonging continued in 2019, with 56% of adults reporting that they did not belong to any religion.  This coincided with a sharp decrease since 2009 in the proportion of people who report that they belong to the Church of Scotland, from 34% to 20% of adults.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today published the Scottish Household Survey (SHS) 2019 Annual Report as well as the Scottish Household Survey (SHS) 2019 Key Findings. The Scottish Household Survey today also published all 2019 statistical data on the interactive dashboard Data Explorer, containing comparable SHS data from 1999 to 2019. For the first time the Data Explorer releases both national and local data on the same day.

Scottish Household Survey 2019: supplementary analysis

The Scottish Household Survey has been designed to provide reliable and up-to-date information on the composition, characteristics, attitudes and behaviour of Scottish households and individuals since 1999.

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