4 Neighbourhoods and Communities

Main Findings

Over nine in ten adults view their neighbourhood as a very or fairly good place to live, with the majority of adults in Scotland (57.0 per cent) rating their neighbourhood as a very good place to live in 2017. In addition, the proportion of adults who described their neighbourhood as very or fairly good in 2017 was significantly higher than in each individual year between 1999 and 2013.

Neighbourhood ratings vary by area deprivation. Adults in less deprived areas are more likely to rate their neighbourhood as a very good place to live. This has been a consistent finding in recent years. Whilst the proportion of people living in the 20 per cent most deprived areas who rate their neighbourhood as very good has increased over the last decade, the gap between the most and least deprived areas in 2017 was broadly a similar size as in 2007 when we look at those describing their neighbourhood as very good.

Those in accessible or remote rural areas were more likely to describe their neighbourhood as a very good place to live than those in urban areas.

Most potential neighbourhood problems are not considered to be particularly common. In 2017, the most prevalent issue cited was animal nuisance (e.g. noise or fouling) which was reported as being very or fairly common by 32 per cent of adults.

43 per cent of all adults reported that they did not experience any neighbourhood problems in 2017, although this proportion has decreased in recent years. Those living in the 20 per cent most deprived areas were more likely to experience neighbourhood problems.

Just over one in twenty adults reported that they had experienced discrimination or harassment in the last three years. Some groups are more likely than others to report having experienced discrimination or harassment in Scotland, for instance those under the age of 60 and those from minority ethnic groups. The most common reason cited as a motivating factor was the respondent’s ethnicity.

Almost eight-in-ten (78 per cent) adults felt a very or fairly strong sense of belonging to their neighbourhood in 2017, however this varied according to age, ethnic group and deprivation. The majority of adults in Scotland strongly agreed that they would assist neighbours in an emergency and could rely on those around them for advice and support.

The majority of households in Scotland reported that they have not thought about or made any preparations for events like severe weather or flooding.

4.1 Introduction and Context

One of the Scottish Government’s recently revised 11 National Outcomes[31] is that

‘We live in communities that are inclusive, empowered, resilient and safe’.

The Scottish Household Survey (SHS) is one of the sources of evidence that can be used to assess progress towards achieving this outcome, with this chapter presenting the latest findings from the survey relevant to neighbourhoods and communities.

This chapter includes results used to monitor one of the National Indicators: Perceptions of local area – the percentage of people who rate their neighbourhood as a very good place to live. Therefore the chapter starts with an overview of the latest results on that indicator, including the variation in views by demographic and geographic characteristics.

The chapter then goes on to explore the perceptions and experiences of various forms of anti-social behaviour, before looking at experiences of discrimination and harassment. Finally, the chapter investigates how engaged people were with their local community and how prepared households were for emergency situations in 2017.

4.2 Neighbourhoods

The section below explores how people view their neighbourhoods and their impression of how their local area has changed (if at all) over the last few years.

4.2.1 Overall Ratings of Neighbourhoods

The majority of adults in Scotland (57.0 per cent) rated their neighbourhood as a very good place to live in 2017, as shown in Table 4.1.

Table 4.1: Rating of neighbourhood as a place to live by year
Column percentages, 1999; 2007-2017 data

Adults 1999 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Very/fairly good 90.7 92.0 92.4 92.5 93.6 93.5 93.9 93.7 94.1 94.4 94.6 95.0 95.0
Very good 49.4 51.1 51.7 53.1 55.0 55.4 55.9 55.2 55.2 55.8 56.3 56.7 57.0
Fairly good 41.3 40.9 40.7 39.4 38.6 38.1 38.0 38.5 38.9 38.5 38.3 38.3 38.1
Fairly poor 5.4 5.2 4.8 4.9 4.3 4.4 4.2 4.3 4.1 3.6 3.7 3.6 3.4
Very poor 3.4 2.4 2.4 2.4 1.8 1.8 1.7 1.7 1.5 1.7 1.4 1.2 1.3
No opinion 0.5 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.2
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 13,780 14,190 10,390 9,310 12,540 12,440 12,890 9,890 9,920 9,800 9,410 9,640 9,810

Overall ratings of neighbourhoods have been consistently high since the SHS began in 1999, with over nine in ten adults viewing their neighbourhood as a very or fairly good place to live in each year. This proportion has increased over the years as shown in the above table, meaning the percentage of adults who described their neighbourhood as very or fairly good in 2017 was significantly higher than in each individual year between 1999 and 2013.

Table 4.2: Rating of neighbourhood as a place to live by Urban Rural classification
Column percentages, 2017 data

Adults Large urban areas Other urban areas Accessible small towns Remote small towns Accessible rural Remote rural Scotland
Very/fairly good 94 94 97 96 98 98 95
Very good 53 53 59 65 70 76 57
Fairly good 41 41 38 30 28 22 38
Fairly poor 4 4 2 2 2 2 3
Very poor 2 2 0 1 0 1 1
No opinion 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 2,810 3,530 880 570 1,000 1,030 9,810

Whilst neighbourhoods were rated fairly positively across the board, the strength of view varied by urban rural classification, with those in accessible or remote rural areas most likely to describe their neighbourhood as a very good place to live (70 per cent and 76 per cent respectively). In contrast, just over half (53 per cent) of those in large urban areas rated their neighbourhood as very good, as shown in Table 4.2.

Neighbourhood ratings also vary by deprivation[32], with the proportion of adults rating their neighbourhood as a very good place to live increasing as deprivation decreases, as found consistently over recent years.

Figure 4.1: Rating of neighbourhood as a place to live by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation
2017 data, Adults (minimum base: 900)

Figure 4.1: Rating of neighbourhood as a place to live by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation

As shown in Figure 4.1, just under three in ten adults (29 per cent) in the 10 per cent most deprived areas of Scotland rated their neighbourhood as a very good place to live in 2017, compared to eight in ten (80 per cent) of those living in the 10 per cent least deprived areas. Overall however, it is worth noting that more than four-fifths (83 per cent) in the most deprived areas did describe their neighbourhood as either very or fairly good.

In addition, neighbourhood ratings have improved amongst those living in the most deprived areas over the last decade. For example, when we look at the 20 per cent most deprived areas, the proportion rating their neighbourhood as very good has increased from 26% in 2007 to 32% in 2017. However, notwithstanding some year-to-year fluctuations in results, the gap between the 20 per cent most and least deprived areas in 2017 was broadly a similar size as in 2007 when we look at those describing their neighbourhood as very good, as shown in Figure 4.2 .

Figure 4.2: Rating of neighbourhood as a very good place to live by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 20% most and 20% least deprived areas
2006-2017 data, Adults (minimum base: 1,580)

Figure 4.2: Rating of neighbourhood as a very good place to live by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 20% most and 20% least deprived areas

Note: Dotted lines represent breaks in SIMD data

4.2.2 Neighbourhood Improvements

Respondents were also asked whether and to what extent they thought their neighbourhood had changed in the preceding three years. Overall just under two-thirds of adults (63%) reported in 2017 that they thought their neighbourhood had stayed the same over the last few years. The proportions thinking their neighbourhood had got better or worse over that time period were very similar at 16 and 15 per cent respectively.

However, as shown in Table 4.3 below, perceptions varied by deprivation with those living in the 20 per cent most deprived areas of Scotland least likely to believe that their area had stayed the same in recent years.

Table 4.3: Perceptions of neighbourhood improvements in past three years by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation
Column percentages, 2017 data

Adults 1 - 20% most deprived 2 3 4 5 - 20% least deprived Scotland
Got much better 4 5 2 2 2 3
Got a little better 15 15 12 13 13 13
Stayed the same 53 56 66 68 70 63
Got a little worse 14 13 12 10 9 12
Got much worse 7 6 3 3 1 4
Don't know 7 7 6 4 5 6
All 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 1,820 1,960 2,140 2,080 1,810 9,810

4.2.3 Neighbourhood Ratings and Fear of Crime

As discussed in section 1.3 (Comparability with Other Sources), the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey outputs present detailed analysis in relation to perceptions and fear of crime, and confidence in the police, which should be viewed as the primary source for evidence on those topics. However, the SHS questions on fear of crime uniquely enable the link between neighbourhood ratings and feelings of safety to be explored as outlined below.

Table 4.4 below shows a clear association between how adults rated their neighbourhood and how safe they felt in their communities. For example, the majority of all respondents (82 per cent) said they felt very or fairly safe walking alone in their neighbourhood after dark. However, this was true for just over a third (35 per cent) of adults who rated their neighbourhood as a very poor place to live, compared to 84 per cent of those who rated their local area as very or fairly good.

Table 4.4: Perceptions of safety when walking alone in their neighbourhood after dark and in their home alone at night by rating of neighbourhood as a place to live[33]
Column percentages, 2017 data

Adults Very/fairly good Fairly poor Very poor No opinion All
Walking alone  
Very / Fairly safe 84 51 35 * 82
Very / A bit unsafe 12 46 60 * 14
Don't Know 4 4 6 * 4
Total 100 100 100 100 100
Base 9,340 320 130 30 9,810
   
At home  
Very / Fairly safe 98 88 74 * 97
Very / A bit unsafe 2 12 26 * 3
Don't Know 0 - - * 0
Total 100 100 100 100 100
Base 9,340 320 130 30 9,810

4.3 Neighbourhood Problems

4.3.1 Perceptions of neighbourhood problems

As well as asking respondents about their general views on their neighbourhood and how it may have changed, the SHS also collects information on perceptions and experiences of specific neighbourhood problems, such as anti-social behaviour. As with previous years, the nine neighbourhood problems which respondents were asked about can be categorised in four key groups as shown below.

General anti-social behaviour
Vandalism / graffiti / damage to property
Groups or
individuals
harassing
others
Drug misuse
or dealing
Rowdy behaviour

Neighbour problems
Noisy neighbours/ loud parties
Neighbour
disputes

Rubbish and fouling
Rubbish or
litter lying
around
Animal nuisance
such as noise
or dog fouling

Vehicles
Abandoned
or burnt out
vehicles

Perceptions of neighbourhood problems overall are outlined in Table 4.5 which shows the percentage of adults describing each issue as very or fairly common in their neighbourhood over the last 10 years.

Continuing the trend seen over the last decade, the most prevalent issues cited in 2017 were:

  • Animal nuisance such as noise or dog fouling (which 32 per cent saw as very or fairly common); and
  • Rubbish or litter lying around (which 30 per cent said was very or fairly common).

Notwithstanding relatively minor (although sometimes statistically significant) fluctuations in the estimated proportion of adults viewing each issue as common between survey sweeps, many perceived problems have been broadly stable in recent years. However, looking over the longer term reveals more notable changes in some categories. For instance, the proportion of people citing vandalism/damage to property as common issue almost halved between 2007 and 2017 (despite having increased slightly in the last year), whilst the perceived commonality of animal nuisance has increased since 2009.

Table 4.5: Percentage of people saying a problem is very/fairly common in their neighbourhood
Percentages, 2007-2017 data
Columns may not add to 100 per cent since multiple responses were allowed.

Adults 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
General anti-social behaviour
Vandalism / graffiti / damage to property 17 15 14 11 11 11 10 8 8 8 9
Groups or individual harassing others 12 11 10 8 8 8 7 6 6 6 6
Drug misuse or dealing 12 13 12 11 12 13 12 11 12 12 13
Rowdy behaviour 17 17 16 14 14 15 13 12 11 11 12
Neighbour problems
Noisy neighbours / loud parties 9 10 10 10 10 12 11 11 10 10 11
Neighbour disputes 5 5 6 5 6 6 6 6 6 6 6
Rubbish and fouling
Rubbish or litter lying around 29 29 26 24 25 29 27 27 28 30 30
Animal nuisance such as noise or dog fouling - - 24 23 26 30 31 31 31 31 32
Vehicles
Abandoned or burnt out vehicles 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2
Base 10,390 9,310 11,400 11,140 11,280 9,890 9,920 9,800 9,410 9,640 9,810

4.3.2 Variation in Neighbourhood Problems

Deprivation

The perceived prevalence of neighbourhood problems varies by deprivation. Table 4.6 shows that those living in most deprived areas were more likely to perceive each issue to be a very or fairly common problem. For example, there is a difference between adults in the 10 per cent most and 10 per cent least deprived areas in perceptions of rubbish or litter lying around (50 per cent compared to 22 per cent), drug misuse or dealing (33 per cent compared to three per cent), and rowdy behaviour (30 per cent compared to five per cent).

Table 4.6: Percentage of people saying a problem is very/fairly common in their neighbourhood by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation
Percentages, 2017 data

Adults 10% most deprived 10% least deprived Scotland
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
General anti-social behaviour
Vandalism / graffiti / damage to property 21 17 11 10 8 5 4 3 5 5 9
Groups or individual harassing others 13 11 10 8 4 3 3 1 1 2 6
Drug misuse or dealing 33 25 18 15 11 7 6 4 5 3 13
Rowdy behaviour 30 22 14 14 10 8 6 7 5 5 12
Neighbour problems
Noisy neighbours / loud parties 23 18 15 13 10 9 6 5 5 5 11
Neighbour disputes 14 11 7 7 5 5 5 2 1 2 6
Rubbish and fouling
Rubbish or litter lying around 50 47 35 36 30 24 22 20 19 22 30
Animal nuisance such as noise or dog fouling 42 45 35 34 31 27 29 25 25 23 32
Vehicles
Abandoned or burnt out vehicles 5 4 2 2 1 1 1 1 0 1 2
Base 910 910 960 1,000 1,100 1,040 1,100 980 900 910 9,810

Columns may not add to 100 per cent since multiple responses were allowed.

Tenure

Table 4.7 shows that neighbourhood problems were generally perceived to be more common by those who lived in social rented housing compared to owner occupiers and private renters. For instance, drug misuse or dealing was most likely to be perceived to be a very or fairly common problem by those in social rented accommodation, with a quarter (26 per cent) citing it as regular issue compared to 11 per cent of those in private rented housing and 9 per cent of owner occupiers. In part, these associations show the link between social rented housing and deprivation.

Table 4.7: Percentage of people saying a problem is very/fairly common in their neighbourhood by tenure of household
Percentages, 2017 data

Adults Owner occupied Social rented Private rented Other All
General anti-social behaviour
Vandalism / graffiti / damage to property 7 15 9 10 9
Groups or individual harassing others 4 12 6 4 6
Drug misuse or dealing 9 26 11 11 13
Rowdy behaviour 8 21 17 12 12
Neighbour problems
Noisy neighbours / loud parties 7 21 17 9 11
Neighbour disputes 4 13 6 5 6
Rubbish and fouling
Rubbish or litter lying around 27 39 31 29 30
Animal nuisance such as noise or dog fouling 31 39 27 22 32
Vehicles
Abandoned or burnt out vehicles 1 3 2 0 2
Base 6,250 2,170 1,250 140 9,810

Columns may not add to 100 per cent since multiple responses were allowed.

Age

Perceptions of neighbourhood problems generally decrease with age, as shown in Table 4.8 below. For example, those aged 16-24 were more likely than those aged 75 and above to view rowdy behaviour as a very or fairly common issue (reported by 21 per cent and 3 per cent respectively).

Table 4.8: Percentage of people saying a problem is very/fairly common in their neighbourhood by age of respondent
Percentages, 2017 data

Adults 16 to 24 25 to 34 35 to 44 45 to 59 60 to 74 75 plus All
General anti-social behaviour
Vandalism / graffiti / damage to property 14 11 10 9 6 4 9
Groups or individual harassing others 11 6 6 5 4 2 6
Drug misuse or dealing 18 14 13 12 11 5 13
Rowdy behaviour 21 17 12 10 8 3 12
Neighbour problems
Noisy neighbours / loud parties 21 14 10 10 7 3 11
Neighbour disputes 9 8 6 6 4 2 6
Rubbish and fouling
Rubbish or litter lying around 36 35 31 29 28 22 30
Animal nuisance such as noise or dog fouling 28 34 39 32 30 23 32
Vehicles
Abandoned or burnt out vehicles 3 2 2 2 1 1 2
Base 650 1,290 1,400 2,410 2,590 1,480 9,810

Columns may not add to 100 per cent since multiple responses were allowed.

However, it should be noted that the association between age and the perceived prevalence of neighbourhood problems is not entirely linear across all of the issues considered, despite the general declining trend in reported prevalence with increasing age. For example, whilst one-quarter (28 per cent) of adults aged 16-24 reported animal nuisance (such as noise or fouling) as being very or fairly common, this was true for around a third (34 per cent) of those aged 25-34.

Urban/Rural area

Table 4.9 shows that adults living in urban areas were generally more likely to consider neighbourhood problems to be common, compared to those in rural areas. In particular, those living in large urban areas were generally most likely to perceive each issue as being very or fairly common, whilst those in accessible and remote rural areas tended to be least likely to consider neighbourhood problems to be common.

Continuing the trend from recent years, the issue most commonly reported by those in large urban areas was rubbish or litter lying around (38 per cent), a problem only rated as very or fairly common by 20 per cent of those in accessible rural areas, and 16 per cent of adults living in remote rural areas.

Compared to 2016, perceptions of neighbourhood problems within area classifications were relatively stable for most measures. Considering notable changes, it is worth highlighting that between 2016 and 2017 there was a decrease in the proportion of those living in remote small towns who perceived rubbish lying around and drug misuse or dealing to be common issues (decreasing by 8 and 6 percentage points respectively). This follows an increase in the perceive prevalence of these issues, by similar magnitudes, between 2015 and 2016 in these areas.

Table 4.9: Percentage of people saying a problem is very/fairly common in their neighbourhood by Urban Rural classification
Percentages, 2017 data

Adults Large urban areas Other urban areas Accessible small towns Remote small towns Accessible rural Remote rural Scotland
General anti-social behaviour
Vandalism / graffiti / damage to property 12 9 6 7 4 2 9
Groups or individual harassing others 6 7 4 4 2 3 6
Drug misuse or dealing 13 14 13 14 8 7 13
Rowdy behaviour 17 12 8 11 4 4 12
Neighbour problems
Noisy neighbours / loud parties 14 11 9 11 5 4 11
Neighbour disputes 7 6 5 6 3 4 6
Rubbish and fouling
Rubbish or litter lying around 38 31 22 23 20 16 30
Animal nuisance such as noise or dog fouling 33 32 35 32 27 23 32
Vehicles
Abandoned or burnt out vehicles 3 1 1 2 2 2 2
Base 2,810 3,530 880 570 1,000 1,030 9,810

Columns may not add to 100 per cent since multiple responses were allowed.

4.3.3 Personal Experience of Neighbourhood Problems

The previous section examined perceptions of neighbourhood problems by a range of socio-demographic and geographic characteristics. This section will now focus on personal experience of neighbourhood problems.

It is important to note that it is not always necessary to have direct personal experience of an issue to know about it or perceive it as a problem in an area. For example, in the case of vandalism, a person may not have experienced vandalism to their property, but may have seen other vandalised property in their neighbourhood.

In addition, what respondents define as “experience” is related to their own perceptions, beliefs and definitions. For instance, one respondent may consider witnessing drug dealing as experiencing the issue, whilst another respondent may only report experience of this problem if they personally have been offered drugs.

Figure 4.3 compares the perception that a neighbourhood problem is fairly or very common with reported experiences of that problem in the previous year. It is notable that some problems were perceived to be common by a higher percentage of the adult population than had actually experienced the issue (with the reverse being true of animal nuisance). For example, 13 per cent of individuals believed drug misuse or dealing was a very or fairly common problem in their neighbourhood, yet only 7 per cent of adults reported that they had personally experienced this problem. That said, the relationship between experiences and perceptions was much more evident for certain neighbourhood problems (such as issues with neighbours like noise and disputes).

Figure 4.3: Perceptions and experience of neighbourhood problems
2017 data, Adults (base: 9,810)

Figure 4.3: Perceptions and experience of neighbourhood problems

Table 4.10, Table 4.11 and Table 4.12 present the proportions of people who said that they have experienced each of the neighbourhood problems broken down by area deprivation, housing tenure and urban rural classification respectively. These show:

  • Although 43 per cent of all adults in Scotland reported that they had experienced no neighbourhood problems in 2017, the proportion experiencing at least one issue has increased in recent years. For example, the proportion of the population reporting that they have experienced no neighbourhood problems has decreased from 58 per cent in 2011 and 46 per cent in 2016;
  • Those living in the 20 per cent most deprived areas were most likely to report experiencing problems;
  • Adults in social rented accommodation were generally more likely than those in owner occupied and private rented housing to say they had experienced neighbourhood problems; and
  • People living in rural areas were the most likely to report having experienced no neighbourhood problems in the last year.

Table 4.10: Experience of neighbourhood problems by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation
Percentages, 2017 data

Adults 1 - 20% most deprived 2 3 4 5 - 20% least deprived Scotland
General anti-social behaviour
Vandalism / graffiti / damage to property 12 7 5 4 5 6
Groups or individual harassing others 6 4 3 3 1 3
Drug misuse or dealing 14 9 6 3 3 7
Rowdy behaviour 19 12 9 6 7 11
Neighbour problems
Noisy neighbours / loud parties 19 14 10 6 7 11
Neighbour disputes 9 6 4 4 3 5
Rubbish and fouling
Rubbish or litter lying around 41 32 28 22 23 29
Animal nuisance such as noise or dog fouling 45 38 36 34 35 37
Vehicles
Abandoned or burnt out vehicles 4 2 2 2 2 2
None 31 39 45 50 50 43
Base 1,820 1,960 2,140 2,080 1,810 9,810

Columns may not add to 100 per cent since multiple responses were allowed.

Table 4.11: Experience of neighbourhood problems by tenure of household
Percentages, 2017 data

Adults Owner occupied Social rented Private rented Other All
General anti-social behaviour
Vandalism / graffiti / damage to property 5 10 8 5 6
Groups or individual harassing others 2 6 4 2 3
Drug misuse or dealing 5 15 7 7 7
Rowdy behaviour 8 16 15 11 11
Neighbour problems
Noisy neighbours / loud parties 7 19 18 6 11
Neighbour disputes 4 11 6 7 5
Rubbish and fouling
Rubbish or litter lying around 28 35 29 29 29
Animal nuisance such as noise or dog fouling 38 40 30 26 37
Vehicles
Abandoned or burnt out vehicles 2 3 3 0 2
None 45 36 44 49 43
Base 6,250 2,170 1,250 140 9,810

Columns may not add to 100 per cent since multiple responses were allowed.

Table 4.12: Experience of neighbourhood problems by Urban Rural Classification
Percentages, 2017 data

Adults Large urban areas Other urban areas Accessible small towns Remote small towns Accessible rural Remote rural Scotland
General anti-social behaviour
Vandalism / graffiti / damage to property 9 6 5 6 3 2 6
Groups or individual harassing others 3 4 2 2 2 2 3
Drug misuse or dealing 9 7 5 8 3 3 7
Rowdy behaviour 14 12 7 11 5 4 11
Neighbour problems
Noisy neighbours / loud parties 14 12 9 10 5 3 11
Neighbour disputes 5 6 4 6 4 5 5
Rubbish and fouling
Rubbish or litter lying around 34 30 22 22 21 20 29
Animal nuisance such as noise or dog fouling 38 38 41 39 33 28 37
Vehicles
Abandoned or burnt out vehicles 3 2 2 2 2 3 2
None 41 40 45 44 52 56 43
Base 2,810 3,530 880 570 1,000 1,030 9,810

Columns may not add to 100 per cent since multiple responses were allowed.

4.4 Discrimination and Harassment

4.4.1 Experiences of discrimination and harassment

The SHS explores whether respondents have experienced any kind of discrimination or harassment[34], in the last three years, whilst in Scotland. In 2017, just over one in 20 adults reported that they had experienced either discrimination (7 per cent) or harassment (6 per cent) in Scotland at some point over the last three years. At a national level, reported experiences of discrimination and harassment were stable between 2016 and 2017.

As in previous years, adults aged 60 and over adults were least likely to have experienced either discrimination or harassment over the last three years, as shown in Table 4.13 below.

Table 4.13: Experience of discrimination and harassment by gender, age and level of deprivation
Percentages, 2017 data

Adults Discrimination Harassment Base
Yes No Yes No
Gender
Male 6 94 6 94 4,540
Female 7 93 6 94 5,270
Age
16 to 24 8 92 8 92 650
25 to 34 9 91 8 92 1,290
35 to 44 8 92 7 93 1,400
45 to 59 8 92 7 93 2,410
60 to 74 3 97 3 97 2,590
75+ 1 99 2 98 1,480
Deprivation
20% Most Deprived 8 92 7 93 1,820
20% Least Deprived 8 92 6 94 1,810
All 7 93 6 94 9,810

Table 4.14 displays the proportion of adults experiencing discrimination or harassment by a further range of demographic breakdowns: sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, and whether the individual has a long term physical or mental health condition which has (or is expected to) last at least 12 months. It highlights that some groups are more likely than others to report having experienced discrimination or harassment in the last three years in Scotland (although small base sizes for some groups – such as ‘gay/lesbian/bisexual’ - means that estimates can have relatively large degrees of uncertainty around them and should therefore be interpreted with caution).

It is also important to note that Table 4.13 and Table 4.14 do not show the reasons behind experiences of discrimination and harassment, which can be but are not necessarily related to the equality characteristics presented. To get an understanding of this, those who have experienced such issues are also asked about the factors they believe may have motivated their experiences (as detailed below).

Table 4.14: Experiences of discrimination and harassment by sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion and long term physical/mental health condition
Row percentages, 2017 data[35]

Adults Discrimination Harassment Base
Yes No Yes No
Sexual Orientation
Heterosexual/Straight 6 94 6 94 9,610
Gay/Lesbian/ Bisexual 20 80 21 79 130
Ethnicity
White 6 94 6 94 9,490
Other minority ethnic group 19 81 11 89 310
Religion
None 6 94 6 94 4,710
Church of Scotland 4 96 4 96 2,620
Roman Catholic 9 91 6 94 1,310
Other Christian 8 92 7 93 880
Another religion 16 84 12 88 310
Long term physical/mental health condition
Yes 9 91 8 92 3,310
No 6 94 5 95 6,450
All 7 93 6 94 9,810

Reported experiences of discrimination and harassment were stable across socio-demographic breakdowns when comparing results in 2017 to the 2016 SHS. Whilst there are some apparent differences in the estimates for specific groups between years, when confidence intervals are taken into account these are not statistically significant changes.

4.4.2 Motivating factors

Adults who reported that they had experienced harassment or discrimination were asked what they think might have motivated this. Respondents were asked to provide spontaneous responses to these questions and where possible, the interviewer coded these answers into one of the main categories shown in Table 4.15 (e.g. age, disability, gender, and so on). As there were a wide range of options which adults could have provided (and the fact multiple reasons could be given), it was not possible to code every potential type of response in advance, which has resulted in high levels of ‘other’ reasons being recorded.

Table 4.15 shows that around a third (31 per cent) of respondents who had been discriminated against believed the reason behind this was their ethnic origin. Aside from ‘other’ reasons, the next most common motivating factors were said to be the respondent’s age, gender or disability.

Of those who had experienced harassment, just under a fifth cited their ethnic group as the perceived reason (17 per cent), with ‘other reasons’ being the most common response (39 per cent).

Table 4.15: Reasons for discrimination and harassment
Percentages, 2017 data

Adults Discrimination Harassment
Age 15 7
Disability 10 6
Gender 12 15
Ethnic group 31 17
Religion 5 5
Sexual orientation 4 5
Sectarian reasons 5 3
Other 20 39
Don't know 3 8
Refused 1 1
Base 570 510

Columns may not add to 100 per cent since multiple responses were allowed.

As in previous years, those who had experienced harassment or discrimination were more likely to say that they feel very or a bit unsafe walking in their local neighbourhood or at home late at night as shown in Table 4.16[36].

Table 4.16: Perceptions of safety when walking alone in their neighbourhood after dark and in their home alone at night by experience of discrimination and harassment[37]
Column percentages, 2017 data

Adults Have experienced discrimination Have not experienced discrimination Have experienced harassment Have not experienced harassment All
Walking alone
Very / Fairly safe 73 83 68 83 82
Very / A bit unsafe 25 13 28 13 14
Don't Know 2 4 3 4 4
Total 100 100 100 100 100
Base 570 9,240 510 9,300 9,810
At home
Very / Fairly safe 94 97 90 98 97
Very / A bit unsafe 6 2 10 2 3
Don't Know 0 0 0 0 0
Total 100 100 100 100 100
Base 570 9,240 510 9,300 9,810

4.5 Community Engagement and Resilience

4.5.1 Community Engagement

The SHS also seeks to explore how strongly adults feel that they belong to their immediate neighbourhood. Table 4.17 shows that 78 per cent of adults felt a very or fairly strong sense of belonging to their neighbourhood in 2017, a finding which has been very stable in recent years.

However, whilst the majority of those in all categories shown said that they felt a very or fairly strong sense of belonging, it is important to note the variation in feelings by gender, age, ethnic background and deprivation. For example, almost nine in ten adults (87 per cent) aged 75 and above said they felt a very or fairly strong sense of belonging to their community, compared to just over seven in ten (73 per cent) of those aged between 16 and 24.

Table 4.17: Strength of feeling of belonging to community by gender, age, ethnicity and Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation
Row percentages, 2017 data

Adults Very strongly Fairly strongly Not very strongly Not at all strongly Don't know Total Base
Gender
Male 31 46 16 5 1 100 4,540
Female 38 41 15 5 1 100 5,270
Age
16-24 25 48 19 5 3 100 650
25-34 23 43 23 9 2 100 1,290
35-44 27 49 17 6 1 100 1,400
45-59 37 43 14 5 0 100 2,410
60-74 45 41 11 3 1 100 2,590
75+ 51 36 10 3 1 100 1,480
Ethnicity
White 35 44 15 5 1 100 9,490
Minority Ethnic Groups 23 40 26 6 5 100 310
Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation
20% Most Deprived Areas 28 42 19 9 2 100 1,820
20% Least Deprived Areas 38 45 14 3 1 100 1,810
All 35 43 16 5 1 100 9,810

Table 4.18 highlights that the vast majority of adults in Scotland reported that they would help their neighbours in an emergency and are also positive about the ability to call on others around them for support if need be, offering a slightly different perspective of community engagement.

Table 4.18: Involvement with other people in the neighbourhood
Row percentages, 2017 data

Adults Strongly agree Tend to agree Neither agree nor disagree Tend to disagree Strongly disagree Base
Could rely on friends/relatives in neighbourhood for help 63 25 6 5 2 9,810
Could rely on friends/relatives in neighbourhood to look after home 65 22 6 5 2 9,810
Could turn to friends/relatives in neighbourhood for advice or support 59 24 8 6 4 9,810
Would offer help to neighbours in an emergency 71 20 5 2 1 9,810

4.5.2 Resilience and preparedness for emergency situations

For 2017, an updated set of questions were included in the SHS to explore how prepared the population are for potential emergency situations.

The first question sought to understand how much thought and/or activity households in Scotland had undertaken in preparation for issues like severe weather or flooding. As shown in Table 4.19, in 2017 just over three in five households in Scotland had given no thought to preparing for such situations, whilst a further 17 per cent had thought about it but had taken no action. By contrast just over one in twenty households (6%) said they were fully prepared.

Households in the most deprived areas were most likely to report having given no thought to preparing for issues like severe weather or flooding.

Table 4.19: Activity undertaken to prepare for events like severe weather or flooding
Column percentages, 2017 data

Adults 1 - 20% most deprived 2 3 4 5 - 20% least deprived All
Given it no thought 69 69 55 59 58 62
Thought about but haven't done anything 14 14 19 16 21 17
Thought about and have made some preparations 9 10 17 18 16 14
Thought about and am fully prepared 5 5 8 7 4 6
Don't know 2 2 1 0 1 1
All 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 540 620 710 710 600 3,180

Table 4.20 shows the proportion of households with specific iterms readily available for potential use in the event of severe weather or flooding, by tenure and SIMD. It highlights that:

  • Relatively few have an emergency kit prepared (22 per cent);
  • Around two-fifths have a battery-powered radio (40 per cent); and
  • Just under two-thirds have a first aid kit (65 per cent).

Households were more likely to hold copies of important documents, such as insurance policies, with 74% having these readily accessible. Avaialbility did vary across household types however. For example, four in five owner occupier households had such documents to hand, whilst only three in five social renters did.

Table 4.20: Availability of emergency response items in household by tenure of household and Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation
Column percentages, 2017 data

Adults Owner occupied Social rented Private rented Other 20% Most Deprived 20% Least Deprived All
An emergency kit already prepared with essential items 25 18 19 * 21 25 22
A working radio with batteries 45 32 31 * 35 43 40
A first aid kit 73 51 57 * 58 70 65
Copies of important documents (like insurance policies) 80 61 67 * 67 80 74
Base 2,050 670 420 40 540 600 3,180

Contact

Emma McCallum