Publication - Statistics

Scottish household survey 2018: annual report

Published: 10 Sep 2019

Results from the 2018 edition of the continuous survey based on a sample of the general population in private residences in Scotland.

Scottish household survey 2018: annual report
2 The Composition and Characteristics of Households in Scotland

2 The Composition and Characteristics of Households in Scotland

Main Findings

Twenty eight per cent of the population were under 25 years old and 25 per cent were over 60 years old in 2018.

There were more women than men in Scotland and the gender of one tenth of one per cent (0.1 per cent) of household members was reported as ‘in another way’.

Three in 10 adults in Scotland reported having a long-term health condition.

The population in Scotland was largely white, with over three-quarters of adults (77 per cent) reporting having White Scottish ethnicity in 2018. This has dropped since 2013 where 80 per cent of adults identified as White Scottish.

Nearly a quarter of all adults (16+) in Scotland were permanently retired from work. Almost half of adults aged 16-64 were in full-time employment.

Religious belonging in Scotland has been declining and this trend continued into 2018; a half of adults reported that they didn’t belong to any religion. In 2018 there was an increase in the proportion of adults reporting belonging to ‘Other Christian’ compared to previous years.

The proportion of adults who had never been married or in a civil partnership has increased since 2013 to 37 per cent in 2018.

Over a third of people in Scotland lived alone.

In 2018, over half of households which contain children were small families with two adults of any age and one or two children.

Six out of 10 households were in a home they owned outright or were buying.

Scotland’s population was largely urban-based, with over eight out of 10 households located in urban areas in 2018.

In 2018, over a half of households in Scotland earnt less than £25,000 a year. Around one in four households earnt more than £40,000 a year.

2.1 Introduction and Context

This chapter describes the types of homes in Scotland and who lives in them.

Collecting information on age, gender, disability, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation provides an important contribution to the overall equality evidence base. This is used by policy makers to target services and tackle discrimination and disadvantage. The Scottish Household Survey (SHS) collects information about all household members, including children.

Please note that all tables have a descriptive and numerical base showing the population or population sub-group examined in it. While all results have been calculated using unrounded weighted data, the bases shown provide the unweighted counts. These have been rounded to the nearest 10 to comply with statistical disclosure control principles and the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. Where base numbers are less than five, the bases shown have been rounded down to zero. It is therefore not possible to calculate how many respondents gave a certain answer based on the results and bases presented in the report. See Annex 1: Using the Information in this Report for more information on reporting conventions.

The age and number of eligible people in the household are combined to give a ‘household type’. See Annex 2: Glossary for a full definition of eligibility. The SHS uses eight household types defined as follows:

  • A single adult household – contains one adult aged 16-64 and no children.
  • A single parent household – contains one adult of any age and one or more children.
  • A single older household - contains one adult of pensionable age and no children. Pensionable age is 65 for both women and men.
  • A small family household – contains two adults of any age and one or two children.
  • An older smaller household – contains one adult aged 16-64 and one of pensionable age and no children, or two adults of pensionable age and no children.
  • A large adult household – contains three or more adults and no children.
  • A small adult household – contains two adults aged 16-64 and no children.
  • A large family household – contains two adults of any age and three or more children, or three or more adults of any age and one or more children.

2.2 All Household Members

The household respondent[27] gives the characteristics of all household members, including children, and answers questions on characteristics of the household. Due to the method of collecting this data, the household member characteristics of age will be accurately reported. However, whether a member of the household has a long standing illness or disability is thought to be under reported as the respondent may not know of individuals’ conditions. Similarly, the gender of a member of the household may be misreported as the respondent may not know how an individual identifies.

The age of all household members is presented in Table 2.1. Similar to previous years, 28 per cent of household members were under 25 years old and 25 per cent were 60 or over in 2018.

Table 2.1: Age of all household members by year
Column percentages, 2012-2018 data, All household members

Age 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
0-15 17 17 17 17 17 17 17
16-24 12 12 12 11 11 11 11
25-34 13 13 13 13 13 13 14
35-44 13 13 13 12 12 12 12
45-59 21 22 22 22 21 22 22
60-74 16 16 16 17 17 17 17
75+ 7 7 7 8 8 8 8
All 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 23,240 23,530 23,410 22,610 22,760 23,080 22,610

The gender of all household members is presented in Table 2.2. This shows that more household members were reported as women than men in Scotland. In 2018, the gender of one tenth of one per cent (0.1 per cent) of household members was reported as 'in another way'.

Table 2.2: Gender of all household members by year[28]
Column percentages, 2012-2018 data, All household members

Gender 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Men 48.5 48.5 48.5 48.6 48.6 48.6 48.6
Women 51.5 51.5 51.5 51.4 51.4 51.4 51.2
Identified in another way - - - - - - 0.1
Refused - - - - - - 0.2
All 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 23,240 23,530 23,410 22,610 22,760 23,080 22,610

Table 2.3 shows that just under a quarter (23 per cent) of all household members were reported as having a long-term physical or mental health condition[29] in 2018, similar to previous years.

Table 2.3: All household members with a long-term physical or mental health condition by year
Column percentages, 2014-2018 data, All household members

Long-term physical or mental health condition 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Yes 22 23 22 22 23
No 78 77 78 78 77
Total 100 100 100 100 100
Base 23,290 22,520 22,670 23,000 22,500

2.3 Adults in Private Households

Figure 2.1 to Table 2.10 present equality characteristics of adults, based on those selected to take part in the random adult interview. These tables provide estimates for age, gender, whether adults have a long term illness or disability, ethnicity, current economic situation of all adults and 16-64 aged adults, sexual orientation, religion and marital status of adults in Scotland.

Figure 2.1 shows the age of adults in households since 1999. Similar to previous years, 30 per cent of adults were under 35 years old and 30 per cent were 60 or over in 2018.

Figure 2.1: Age of adults by year
1999 - 2018, Adults dataset (minimum base: 9,410)

Figure 2.1: Age of adults by year

The gender of adults in Scotland across time is presented in Figure 2.2. This shows that there were more women than men in Scotland. In 2018, less than a tenth of one per cent of adults responded as ‘identified in another way’.

Figure 2.2: Gender[30] of adults by year
1999 - 2018, Adults dataset (minimum base: 9,410)

Figure 2.2: Gender

2.2.1 Long-term physical or mental health condition

The proportion of adults with a long-term physical or mental health condition varied over time, as shown in Table 2.4 and Figure 2.3. In 2018, three in 10 adults (30 per cent) reported a long-term physical or mental health condition, a similar proportion as in 2014-2017 (28 per cent). A larger proportion of respondents in 2018 reported a long-term physical or mental health condition compared to 2012 and 2013 (27 per cent and 28 per cent respectively).

Table 2.4: Adults with a long-term physical or mental health condition by year
Column percentages, 2012-2018 data, Adults dataset

Long-term physical or mental health condition 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Yes 27 28 30 29 30 28 30
No 73 72 70 71 70 72 70
Base 3,200 9,860 9,750 9,370 9,610 9,760 9,660

Figure 2.3: Adults with a long-term physical or mental health condition by year
2012–2018, Adults dataset (minimum base: 3,200)

Figure 2.3: Adults with a long-term physical or mental health condition by year

2.3.2 Ethnicity

Table 2.5 shows a breakdown of the Scottish population by ethnicity. The population in Scotland was largely white, with over three-quarters of adults (77 per cent) identifying themselves as White Scottish in 2018. This has dropped compared to 2013 where 80 per cent of adults identified themselves as White Scottish.

Table 2.5: Ethnicity of adults by year
Column percentages, 2013 – 2018 data, Adults dataset

Ethnicity 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
White 96.4 96.7 96.3 96.0 95.6 96.0
Scottish 79.7 78.2 78.9 78.9 78.3 77.3
Other British 12.1 13.2 12.1 11.9 11.6 11.9
Irish 1.1 0.8 0.7 1.0 0.9 1.1
Gypsy / Traveller - 0.0 0.0 0.0 - 0.0
Polish 1.2 1.7 1.8 1.8 1.9 1.6
Other white ethnic group 2.3 2.8 2.8 2.4 2.9 4.2
Any mixed or multiple ethnic groups 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.3 0.2 0.3
Asian, Asian Scottish or Asian British 2.2 2.1 2.4 2.3 2.6 2.6
Pakistani, Pakistani Scottish or Pakistani British 0.7 0.9 0.8 0.7 0.8 0.8
Indian, Indian Scottish or Indian British 0.7 0.4 0.9 0.5 0.8 0.8
Bangladeshi, Bangladeshi Scottish or Bangladeshi British 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2
Chinese, Chinese Scottish or Chinese British 0.5 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.4
Other Asian ethnic group 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.5 0.3 0.3
African 0.4 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
African, African Scottish or African British 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.3
Other African ethnic group 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.2
Caribbean or Black 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Caribbean, Caribbean Scottish or Caribbean British 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.1
Black, Black Scottish or Black British 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Other Caribbean or Black ethnic group - - 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Other Ethnic Group 0.7 0.4 0.6 0.7 0.9 0.4
Arab, Arab Scottish or Arab British 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.2
Any other ethnic group 0.6 0.4 0.4 0.6 0.8 0.2
Don't know - 0.0 0.0 0.0 - 0.1
Refused 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.1
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 9,920 9,800 9,410 9,640 9,810 9,700

2.3.3 Economic situation

In Table 2.6, examining the economic situation of all adults (16+) in 2018 as well as a subset of adults aged 16-64 shows that almost a quarter of all adults and four per cent of 16-64 aged adults were permanently retired from work. Only five per cent of adults aged 16-64 were unemployed and seeking work.

Table 2.6: Economic situation of all adults and adults aged 16-64
Column percentages, 2018, Adults dataset

Economic status All adults Adults aged 16-64
Self employed 6.3 7.6
Employed full time 38.3 48.9
Employed part time 10.4 12.6
Looking after the home or family 4.4 5.6
Permanently retired from work 24.1 4.3
Unemployed and seeking work 3.6 4.6
At school 1.6 2.1
In further / higher education 5.4 7.0
Gov't work or training scheme 0.3 0.3
Permanently sick or disabled 4.6 5.7
Unable to work because of short-term illness or injury 0.7 0.9
Other 0.3 0.3
Refused 0.0 0.0
Total 100 100
Base 9,700 6,600

Examining the economic situation of adults (16+) over time, in Figure 2.4, shows that the proportion of those who were in full-time employment or were self-employed has increased since 1999. Similarly, the proportion of those who were permanently retired from work has increased since 1999. The proportion of those looking after the home or family has decreased.

Figure 2.4: Economic situation of adults (16+) by year – selected groups
1999 – 2018, Adults dataset (minimum base: 9,410)

Figure 2.4: Economic situation of adults (16+) by year – selected groups

2.3.4 Sexual orientation

Around two per cent of all adults self-identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual in 2018. This is an increase from around one per cent of adults in 2011, as shown in Table 2.7. It should be noted that estimates on self-identified sexual orientation from the SHS are likely to under-represent the lesbian, gay and bisexual population. Potential reasons for this are discussed in Annex 2: Glossary.

Table 2.7: Sexual orientation of adults by year
Column percentages, 2011-2018 data, Adults dataset

Sexual orientation 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Heterosexual/Straight 98.4 98.0 98.6 98.4 98.1 97.9 97.9 97.6
Gay/Lesbian 0.7 0.7 0.6 0.8 0.8 1.1 1.2 1.2
Bisexual 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.4 0.4 0.6
Other 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1
Refused 0.4 0.8 0.6 0.6 0.7 0.4 0.5 0.4
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 12,890 9,890 9,920 9,800 9,410 9,640 9,810 9,700

2.3.5 Religion

Since 2009, when the harmonised question on religious belonging was introduced to the SHS, there has been an increase in the proportion of adults reporting not belonging to a religion, from 40 per cent in 2009 to just over a half of adults (51 per cent) in 2018 (Figure 2.5). There has also been a corresponding decrease in the proportion reporting belonging to ‘Church of Scotland’, from 34 per cent to 22 per cent. In 2018 there was an increase in the proportion of adults reporting belonging to ‘Other Christian’. In 2018 this was 10 per cent, around two per cent higher than in previous years (seven to eight per cent since 2009).

Figure 2.5: Religious belonging of adults by year
2009 - 2018 data, Adults dataset (minimum base: 9,410)

Figure 2.5: Religious belonging of adults by year

2.3.6 Marital status

The proportion of adults who have never been married or in a civil partnership has increased from 34 per cent in 2013 to 37 per cent in 2018 (Table 2.8). There has been a corresponding decrease in the proportion of adults who are widowed, from eight per cent to six per cent.

Table 2.8: Marital status of adults by year
Column percentages, 2013-2018 data, Adults dataset

Marital status 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Never married and never registered a same-sex civil partnership 34 35 35 36 36 37
Married 48 47 47 47 47 47
In a registered same-sex civil partnership 0 0 0 0 0 0
Separated, but still legally married 2 2 2 2 2 2
Separated, but still legally in a same-sex civil partnership 1 0 1 0 0 0
Divorced 7 8 8 8 7 8
Formerly in a same-sex civil partnership which is now legally dissolved 0 0 0 0 0 0
Widowed 8 7 7 7 7 6
Surviving partner from a same-sex civil partnership 0 0 0 0 0 0
Refused 0 - - 0 0 0
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 9,920 9,800 9,410 9,640 9,810 9,700

As shown in Table 2.9, in 2018 the majority of younger adults (aged 16-34) had never been married or in a civil partnership whereas the majority of adults aged 35 and over were married or in a civil partnership.

Table 2.9: Current marital status of adults by age
Column percentages, 2018, Adults dataset

Marital status 16-24 25-34 35-44 45-59 60-74 75+ All
Single, never been married/in civil partnership 94 67 35 23 10 6 37
Married/Civil partnership 5 31 56 58 65 48 47
Divorced/Separated 1 2 8 17 15 5 10
Widowed/Bereaved civil partner - 0 0 2 10 40 6
Refused 0 - - - - - 0
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 680 1,300 1,370 2,390 2,540 1,430 9,700

Exploring how marital status is spread across age groups reveals that single adults tended to be in the younger age groups (Table 2.10). The proportion of those who were married/in civil partnership or divorced/separated increased with age, with the majority of these respondents aged 45-59. Widowed adults were in the older age groups with over nine in 10 of the widowed respondents being over the age of 60.

Table 2.10: Age of adults by marital status
Row percentages, 2018, Adults dataset

Marital status 16-24 25-34 35-44 45-59 60-74 75+ Total Base
Single, never been married/in civil partnership 31 32 14 16 5 2 100 3,240
Married/Civil partnership 1 12 18 32 28 10 100 3,960
Divorced/Separated 1 4 13 46 32 5 100 1,330
Widowed/Bereaved civil partner - 0 1 7 32 60 100 1,180
All 12 18 15 26 20 10 100 9,700

2.4 Household Characteristics

The Scottish Household Survey provides estimates of geographical characteristics (Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation and urban/rural classification), property type, household type, tenure and net household income[31] for households in Scotland.

Household type is derived from the details collected from the household respondent about all household members, using a combination of age and number of people in the household. Full definitions of each household type are included in Annex 2: Glossary. Combining the data in this way provides an indicator of the life stage and family circumstance of households.

2.3.1 Household type

In 2018, over a third of people in Scotland lived alone (36 per cent) (Table 2.11). Only five per cent of households in Scotland were two adult families with three or more children, or three or more adult families with one or more children. Less than one in four households in Scotland contained children (22 per cent). Since 2012, the proportion of single and small adult households in Scotland has increased whereas the proportion of single older and older smaller households has dropped.

Table 2.11: Household type of households by year
Column percentages, 2012-2018 data, Households dataset

Household Type 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Single adult 19 18 19 20 21 20 22
Small adult 18 17 17 20 20 19 20
Single parent 5 5 5 5 5 5 5
Small family 12 13 12 12 12 13 12
Large family 6 5 6 5 5 5 5
Large adult 10 10 10 9 9 10 9
Older smaller 15 15 15 13 13 13 14
Single older 15 16 16 15 14 14 14
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 10,640 10,650 10,630 10,330 10,470 10,680 10,530

Of the households which contained children, over half were small families with two adults of any age and one or two children (Table 2.12). Single parents accounted for just over one in five households with children (22 per cent in 2018).

Table 2.12: Households with children by year
Column percentages, 2012-2018 data, Households dataset

Household Type 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Single parent 23 22 22 22 24 21 22
Small family 52 55 54 54 55 56 55
Large family 24 23 25 24 22 23 23
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 2,460 2,560 2,510 2,440 2,420 2,390 2,260

2.4.2 House type and tenure

Table 2.13 shows that around two thirds of households in Scotland were a house or a bungalow with the remaining third a flat.

Table 2.13: Property type of households by year
Column percentages, 2012-2018 data, Households dataset

Property Type 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
A house or bungalow 65.1 64.4 64.3 64.8 64.3 65.6 66.3
A flat, maisonette or apartment (including four-in-a-block or conversion) 34.4 35.3 35.4 34.9 35.3 33.9 33.4
A room or rooms 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.0
A caravan, mobile home or a houseboat 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.1
Other 0.5 0.2 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.3
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 10,640 10,650 10,630 10,330 10,470 10,680 10,530

Owner-occupier was the most common type of tenure with over six out of 10 households living in a home they owned outright or were buying (Table 2.14). A fifth of households (23 per cent in 2018) were in the social rented sector. Fourteen per cent of households were rented from a private landlord. More information on this is contained in Chapter 3 on housing.

Table 2.14: Tenure of households by year
Column percentages, 2012-2018 data, Households dataset

Tenure 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Owner occupied 63 61 60 61 61 62 62
Social rented 23 23 24 23 23 22 23
Private rented 13 13 14 14 15 15 14
Other 2 2 2 1 1 1 1
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 10,640 10,650 10,630 10,330 10,470 10,680 10,530

2.4.3 Area type

Table 2.15 describes the split of households by deprivation quintiles as defined by the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD).

Table 2.15: Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation of households by year
Column percentages, 2012-2018 data, Households dataset

SIMD quintiles 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
1 - Most Deprived 21 21 21 21 22 21 21
2 21 20 20 20 21 20 20
3 20 21 20 21 20 20 20
4 20 19 20 20 19 19 20
5 - Least Deprived 18 19 18 18 19 20 19
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 10,640 10,650 10,630 10,330 10,470 10,680 10,530

Table 2.16 shows that over eight in 10 households in Scotland were located in urban areas (including small towns) (83 per cent), with only 17 per cent in rural areas in 2018. The proportion of households in large urban areas has decreased over time whilst those in other urban areas has increased.

Table 2.16: Urban rural split of households by year
Column percentages, 2012-2018 data, Households dataset

Urban/Rural classification 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Large urban areas 40 40 36 36 36 35 35
Other urban areas 30 30 34 35 35 36 35
Accessible small towns 8 9 9 9 9 9 9
Remote small towns 4 4 4 3 4 4 4
Accessible rural 11 11 11 11 11 10 11
Remote rural 7 6 6 6 6 6 6
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 10,640 10,650 10,630 10,330 10,470 10,680 10,530

2.4.4 Income

In 2018, over a half of households in Scotland earnt less than £25,000 a year (53 per cent) and just under a quarter of households earnt more than £40,000 a year (24 per cent) (Table 2.17). The proportion of households that earnt more than £40,000 a year has increased since 2012 whereas the proportion that earnt between £6,001-£15,000 has decreased.

Table 2.17: Household income of households by year
Column percentages, 2012-2018 data, Households dataset

Total household income 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
£0 - £6,000 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
£6,001 - £10,000 11 10 10 9 9 8 7
£10,001 - £15,000 19 19 18 18 17 15 15
£15,001 - £20,000 16 16 16 16 15 15 15
£20,001 - £25,000 13 12 12 12 13 12 12
£25,001 - £30,000 10 10 10 9 10 10 10
£30,001 - £40,000 13 13 13 15 14 15 14
£40,001+ 16 17 18 18 20 22 24
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 10,260 10,320 10,330 9,980 10,080 10,300 10,090

Contact

Email: shs@gov.scot