Health and Wellbeing Census Scotland 2021- 2022

Statistical publication providing information on the Health and Wellbeing Census 2021/22.

Health and Wellbeing Census Scotland: 2021/22

Experimental Statistics: Statistics under Development

28 February 2023

This statistical publication provides information on the first Health and Wellbeing Census 2021/22 undertaken by local authorities (LAs) between October 2021 and June 2022.

The data are the aggregated results for the 16 local authorities who collected data, and are not weighted to population totals. The analysis sets out the findings for the 16 local authorities who shared HWB census data.

Full documentation of the survey’s methods and questionnaire can be found in the technical report. The analysis is available in the accompanying Excel documents.

These statistics are currently being developed and have been published to involve users and stakeholders in their development, and to build in quality and understanding at an early stage.

The measures published in this report are those reported in the existing frameworks: National Performance Framework; National Improvement Framework and supporting Interactive Evidence Report; Public Health Scotland’s (PHS) Children and Young People's Mental Health Indicators, and form part of the Children, Young People and Families Outcomes Framework Core Wellbeing Indicator Set. Other published measures are those previously reported in the Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS), to provide some continuity in time series where applicable.

Overall findings

Across the reported measures, analysis indicates attitudes to school, views on neighbourhood and life at home, physical health, and mental health and wellbeing differ by stage, sex and deprivation.

Positive perceptions decrease with pupil stage, particularly up to S4. Girls have less positive perceptions than boys across aspects of life from perceptions of school and pressure of school work, feeling positive about their future, being worried about things in their life, perceptions of their body, sleep, diet, physical activity, having trusted adults they can talk to, and across the range of mental health and wellbeing measures.

This difference is also replicated with those in the most deprived areas feeling less positive across attitudes to school, life at home, having a trusted adult they can talk to, physical activity and sleep, mental health and wellbeing and confidence, with higher scores on loneliness and worrying about a lot about things in their life.

There are some differences in substance use with the prevalence of being a regular smoker increasing with deprivation, as does the current use of e-cigarettes. However, the prevalence of usually drinking alcohol at least once a week, use of illegal drugs and having spent money on gambling activities shows little difference by deprivation.  Boys, however, were more likely than girls to have used illegal drugs in the last month.

In terms of relationships and sexual health, there are small differences by pupil sex, and by deprivation.  Those pupils living in the most deprived quintile were less likely to agree that it is easy to get information or ask for help on sexual health issues and were slightly less likely to agree that they had used a condom, or used contraception to prevent pregnancy the most recent time they had sex.


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