Scotland’s reputation overall
Scotland’s National Performance Framework Indicator: ‘Scotland’s Reputation’
The NBISM is used to assess progress for the National Indicator ‘Scotland’s Reputation’, which is one of six National Indicators that sit under the National Outcome:
We are open, connected and make a positive contribution internationally
In line with the National Performance Framework guidelines, assessment of any change in Scotland’s reputation is based on Scotland’s absolute NBISM score as it compares to that of the previous year. An increase of one point or more in Scotland's absolute NBISM score suggests that the indicator is “improving”, whereas a decrease of one point or more in Scotland's absolute NBISM score suggests that the indicator is “worsening”.
This report will comply with these guidelines and will only consider an increase or decrease in Scotland’s absolute NBISM score if it exceeds one point, otherwise it will treat the indicator as “maintaining”.
Scotland’s position on the NBISM
Scotland’s 2018 score of 62.7 and rank of 16th places Scotland in the Top 20 countries and indicates that Scotland has a high level of international recognition. Scotland’s overall reputation in terms of the NBISM score has maintained between 2016 and 2018 (62.2 and 62.7 respectively). Figure 1 shows that, Scotland’s relative rank has dropped by one place since 2016 (from 15th in 2016 to 16th in 2018). This is because rank may change in relation to other countries’ performance while the absolute score will not.
Figure 1 shows that, while Scotland’s reputation maintained between 2008 (when Scotland joined) and 2012, its reputation has improved since 2012.
Figure 1: NBISM Scotland's international reputation by score and rank (2008-2018)
Scotland’s score of 62.7 places Scotland in the 7th decile, far closer to the country with the top score of 69.5 than the country with the bottom score of 46.5. Countries that did better than Scotland and ranked in the Top 10 were Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, France, Canada, Italy, United States, Switzerland, Sweden and Australia.
Table 1 shows how people in different demographic groups score and rank Scotland. Notably, respondents in the 45 years or over (63.9) and 30 to 44 years age group (62.8) tended to score Scotland’s reputation higher than respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 years (61.2).
In relation to occupation, the data only allow disaggregation between business/executives and other occupations. Those in the former group tended to view Scotland more positively in terms of Scotland’s reputation score (65.3) than those in other occupations (61.8). However, across the NBISM dataset, business/executives tended to give all countries a higher score overall (on average 2.9 points higher) than those in other occupations. See Table 1.
Additionally, those who have had some exposure to Scotland, whether having visited a Scottish website (69.9) or having visited Scotland for business and/or holiday (69.6), scored Scotland’s reputation higher than those with little or no exposure to Scotland. These groups also ranked Scotland more favourably. See Table 1.
Table 1: Scotland’s international reputation by age, occupation and tourism (2018)
|Visited a Scottish Website|
In nearly every one of Scotland’s dimensions and their underlying attributes, similar patterns were seen across these demographic groups. See Annex A within this report for summary findings on each of Scotland’s dimensions and their underlying attributes broken down by demographic group.
Scotland’s reputation in the 20 core panel countries
In 2018 Scotland received its highest overall scores for reputation from Mexico (67.8), India (67.7) and South Africa (67.4). The lowest overall scores for Scotland were received from Japan (55.2), Turkey (58.3) and South Korea (58.9).
Figure 2 shows Scotland’s 2018 rank by each of the 20 core panel countries, and how this compares with 2016. In 2018 the highest overall ranks for Scotland were received from the United Kingdom (6th), Canada (10th) and the United States (11th). The lowest overall ranks for Scotland were received from Egypt (26th), Russia (23rd), Turkey and Argentina (both ranking Scotland 22nd).
Figure 2: NBISM Scotland’s rank by 20 panel countries (2016 and 2018)
Scotland’s score in 2018 was higher in 13 countries than it had been in 2016, most notably in Argentina and Mexico. However, Scotland’s score was lower in 7 countries in 2018 than it had been in 2016, with the biggest decrease recorded by United Kingdom.
In three countries (Canada, Argentina and France) Scotland’s rank was higher in 2018 than it was in 2016. Scotland’s rank remained stable in five countries (Egypt, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Sweden), and was lower in 12 countries (including Russia, India, the United Kingdom, Poland and Mexico) between 2016 and 2018. See Figure 2.
In several countries (Russia, Turkey, Poland, Mexico, the United States, South Africa and China) Scotland’s rank was lower in 2018 compared to 2016, but the reputational scores were higher. In Canada the score was lower in 2018 but the rank was higher.
Familiarity with Scotland
At the start of the NBISM survey, respondents are asked to rate how familiar they are with each country. The responses provide data for familiarity with Scotland. Familiarity is presented as the percentage of respondents who had at least some knowledge of Scotland.
Table 2: NBISM Familiarity with Scotland (2016 and 2018)
Table 2 shows that in 2018 the NBISM panel countries were on average slightly less familiar with Scotland than the 2016 sample. Sixty one per cent of respondents reported being familiar with Scotland, resulting in a familiarity ranking of 21st out of 50. This is a decrease in both score and ranking from 2016 where 63 per cent of respondents reported being familiar with Scotland, resulting in a ranking of 19th.
Variations between panel countries
Figure 3 shows levels of familiarity with Scotland across the 20 panel countries in 2016 and 2018. European countries tended to be the most familiar with Scotland in 2018 with 86 per cent of respondents from the United Kingdom, 80 per cent from Russia, 75 per cent from Sweden and 71 per cent from Poland having at least some knowledge of Scotland. There was one notable exception among European countries, however - France was the second least familiar with Scotland (44 per cent) in 2018.
Between 2016 and 2018, levels of familiarity with Scotland increased the most in Canada (60 per cent in 2016 to 66 per cent in 2018) and Argentina (60 per cent in 2016 to 63 per cent in 2018). Levels of familiarity decreased the most in South Korea and Brazil, dropping by seven percentage points each. See Figure 3.
Figure 3: NBISM Levels of familiarity with Scotland (2016 and 2018)
Central/Eastern European countries showed the greatest familiarity with Scotland in 2018, with an average familiarity score of 68.7 per cent, followed by Western European countries (67.2 per cent) and Middle East/African countries (65.0 per cent). Scotland received its lowest familiarity score from Asia/Pacific countries (56.6 per cent).
North American countries were the only geographical region to show an increase in familiarity with Scotland between 2016 and 2018. However, this was a result of Canada being more familiar with Scotland in 2018 compared to 2016. The United States were equally familiar with Scotland in 2016 and 2018. See Figure 3. Familiarity with Scotland in the other five geographical regions decreased during this period with Central/Eastern European countries showing the greatest decrease, dropping from 73.0 percent in 2016 to 68.7 per cent in 2018.
Favourability towards Scotland
At the start of the NBISM survey, respondents were asked to rate how favourable they are towards Scotland on a scale of 1.0 to 7.0 (with 1.0 being extremely unfavourable and 7.0 being extremely favourable).
Table 3: NBISM Favourability towards Scotland (2016 and 2018)
Table 3 shows that Scotland was rated relatively highly in terms of favourability (score of 4.9 out of 7.0) with a rank of 16th out of 50 participating nations. Whilst Scotland’s favourability score has maintained since 2016 its rank has dropped two places from 14th to 16th.
Variations between panel countries
Figure 4 shows levels of favourability towards Scotland across the 20 panel countries in 2016 and 2018. None of the 20 core panel countries gave Scotland a favourability score of four (on a scale of 7.0) or less in 2018. This suggests that Scotland is viewed comparatively positively by all panel countries.
The countries that tended to be the most favourable towards Scotland in 2018, were the United Kingdom (5.3), Italy and Australia (both scoring Scotland 5.2). Japan was the least favourable towards Scotland, scoring Scotland 4.4 out of 7.0 in 2018. See Figure 4.
In 2018, the NBISM panel countries were just as favourable towards Scotland as the 2016 sample (average favourability score of 4.9 out of 7.0 in 2016 and 2018). The greatest increase in favourability towards Scotland during this period could be found in Argentina (4.7 to 4.9), while the greatest decline in favourability towards Scotland was in the United Kingdom (5.5 to 5.3) and Brazil (5.1 to 4.9). See Figure 4.
Figure 4: NBISM Levels of favourability towards Scotland (2016 and 2018)
Geographical regions range in favourability from 5.1 in Western European countries, followed by North American (5.0), Latin American and Middle East/African countries (4.9) with Asia/Pacific and Central/Eastern European countries scoring Scotland 4.8 out of 7.0.
Between 2016 and 2018 there was little to no difference in geographical regions’ favourability towards Scotland. Levels of favourability towards Scotland either increased by 0.1 points, decreased by 0.1 points of maintained over this period.
Email: Hannah Rutherford