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Scottish household survey 2019: annual report

Results from the 2019 edition of the Scottish Household Survey, a continuous survey running since 1999 based on a sample of the general population in private residences in Scotland.

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10 Environment

There has been a steady increase in the proportion of adults viewing climate change as an immediate and urgent problem, from 46 percent in 2013 to 68 percent in 2019.

The largest increase is amongst 16-24 year olds, increasing from 38 percent in 2013 to 69 percent in 2019.

In 2019, for the first time, the majority of each age group viewed climate change as an immediate and urgent problem. The proportion for each of the four age groups from 16-59 was around seven in ten, similar to that for 2018. By contrast the proportions for those aged 60-74 increased from 58 percent to 68 percent and for those aged 75+ from 46 percent to 56 percent.

In 2019, 80 percent of adults with a degree or professional qualification perceived climate change as an immediate and urgent problem, compared to 49 percent for adults with no qualifications.

More than half of adults (56 percent) visited the outdoors at least once a week in the last year, a decrease from 59 percent in 2018. The proportion was higher for men than women (58 percent compared to 54 percent). No such difference between men and women was observed in 2018.

Adults living in the 20 percent most deprived areas were more likely not to have not made any visits to the outdoors in the past 12 months (19 percent) compared to those in the 20 percent least deprived areas (four percent).

Most adults (66 percent) lived within a five minute walk of their nearest area of green or blue space, around the same proportion since 2016. A smaller proportion of adults in deprived areas lived within a five minute walk of their nearest green or blue space compared to adults in the least deprived areas (62 percent compared to 67 percent).

More than a third of adults (36 percent) visited their nearest area of green or blue space every day or several times a week, around the same proportion since comparable figures were first collected in 2013.

Those living closer to their nearest green or blue space were more likely to use it more frequently: 44 percent within five minutes' walk visited every day or several times a week compared to 13 percent more than ten minutes' walk away. Furthermore, the proportion of people who live more than ten minutes' walk from their nearest green or blue space and do not use it (38 percent) is more than double the corresponding proportion of people who live within five minutes' walk (17 percent).

Most adults (73 percent) were very or fairly satisfied with their nearest area of green or blue space, a similar proportion to 2017.

The question asking about walking distance to nearest greenspace informs the National Indicator on Access to Green and Blue Spaces. However before 2019, even though the list of spaces included riversides and beaches, the question text used the term "green or open space". In 2019 for one half of the sample this was changed slightly to "green, blue or open spaces" to check if including the word "blue" made any difference to the response given to the question about walking distance or the biennial follow-up questions asking about satisfaction with and frequency of use of nearest green or blue space. No statistically significant difference was found.

Contact

Email: shs@gov.scot

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