More people are environmentally conscious

20 years of the Scottish Household Survey.

The proportion of adults viewing climate change as an immediate and urgent problem has grown from less than half in 2013 to nearly two thirds in 2018.

The Scottish Household Survey shows that more young people are environmentally aware, with 67% of 16-24 year olds now caring about climate change compared to 38% in 2013.

As more people are aware of and concerned about the climate emergency, the proportion of households recycling newspapers, magazines, paper or cardboard has almost doubled from 2003 to 2017, while over 80% recycle glass bottles and jars, metal cans and plastic bottles. Evidence also shows that Scotland has generated its lowest level of household waste since recording began in 2011 and, for a second year in a row, people recycled or composted more than they threw away to landfill.

The survey has also found that more people have access to internet at home since the start of the millennium. In 2003, only 42% of people had home internet compared to 87% in 2018, while the gap for internet access in more deprived areas has also fallen.

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said:

“For the past 20 years, the Scottish Household Survey has been helping us learn more about how our lives and views are changing. It has also helped government shape policy to reflect changing attitudes and make a positive difference to the people of Scotland.

“As 2020 approaches, it is a good time to look back at some of the biggest changes to our society and remember how valuable learning about our communities can be to help build a better future.”


The Scottish Household Survey reaches 10,000 people each year from every kind of household and asks questions on a wide range of topics including housing, local neighbourhoods, the environment, travel, the internet, and volunteering.

More information is available on the website.


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