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.

This document is part of a collection

1 Introduction to the Survey

1.1 Introduction

The Scottish Household Survey (SHS) is a Scotland-wide face-to-face survey of a random sample of people in private residences. The SHS is voluntary and interviewer-administered in people's homes. Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) is used to collect the survey data. This facilitates faster interviews, automatic edit checks and a quick flow of information from the survey interviewer to the survey database. Though participation is voluntary, a high positive response is important in helping us make representative estimates for Scotland.

The survey started in 1999 and up to 2011 followed a fairly consistent survey design. From 2012 onwards, the survey was substantially redesigned to include elements of the Scottish House Condition Survey[1] (SHCS) including the follow-up physical survey component. The SHS is now essentially three surveys in one: Transport and Travel in Scotland Survey[2], the Scottish House Condition Survey as well as the SHS. The survey is run through a consortium led by Ipsos MORI.

The SHS covers a wide-range of topics and is designed to provide reliable and up-to-date information on the composition, characteristics, attitudes and behaviours of private households and individuals in Scotland, nationally and for local authorities, as well as on the physical condition of Scotland's homes. It covers a wide range of topics to allow links to be made between different policy areas.

The SHS aims to

  • meet central and local Government needs for priority policy relevant data across a broad range of topics,
  • be understandable and useful to stakeholders, with built in flexibility in order to respond to different data needs regarding geography and changes over time,
  • align with other surveys and data vehicles and produce high quality data in accordance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics[3] for use in National Statistics publications,
  • permit disaggregation of information both geographically and in terms of population sub-groups,
  • enable the relationships between social variables within households to be examined, supporting cross-analysis on a wide range of issues, and
  • if needed, the SHS should allow for detailed follow-up surveys of sub-samples from the responses to the main sample.

This current report summarises the main findings from the 2019 SHS.

1.2 2019 Reporting

In the past, SHS results have been reported in a series of long and detailed annual reports[4]. Reporting for 2019 data is in a new form. Given reduced resourcing during COVID-19, we have decided to prioritise publishing all the data from the 2019 SHS over producing the annual report in full.

The key changes to 2019 reporting are:

  • Data from the 2019 SHS for Scotland and local authorities has, for the first time, been published at the same time using the SHS Data Explorer[5].
  • The annual report (this publication) is much shorter containing a short summary highlighting the key findings for each topic.

As previously, the annual report is accompanied by a separate infographic summary of the key findings[6]. Additionally, a 20 years of Scotland's People comic story and a summary of some of the statistics in a new form designed by young people and co-produced with YoungScot will be published.

The Excel tables that have always accompanied the annual report with Scotland level data have been published as normal[7] and are a supporting file to this publication.

Separate topic reports on Culture and Heritage[8] and Childcare[9] have been published and Transport Scotland have produced the Transport and Travel in Scotland publication in full[10]. Where the SHS is a source of information for a national indicator in the SG National Performance Framework[11] then these indicators have, where applicable, been updated with data from the 2019 SHS.

Key equality statistics from the SHS will be added to the Equality Evidence Finder[12] shortly after the SHS is published, as in previous years. Furthermore, the 2019 Scottish House Condition Survey[13] Key Findings Report is going ahead as scheduled and is due to be published in December 2020.

These decisions are consistent with the guidance published by the Office for Statistics regulation who are supportive of producers of National Statistics adapting what they publish due to the situation with COVID-19. The data published is consistent with that published previously, allowing users to make comparisons over time and the commentary produced focusses on the key findings emerging from the survey.

We have also published, as supporting files to this publication, guidance on using the information in outputs from the SHS, confidence intervals and statistical significance and comparability with other sources as well as a glossary of terms.

For detailed information on survey design and sampling, users are referred to the most recent methodology and fieldwork outcomes report[14] for the 2018 SHS. The SHS response rate has declined from 67 per cent in 2014 to 63 per cent in 2019 (the achieved sample in 2019 was 10,577 household and 9,776 random adult interviews). Analysis carried out to date suggests that this has had minimal or little impact on the survey results. Further information on response rates and other such information will be available in the methodology and fieldwork outcomes report for SHS 2019 to be published shortly.



Back to top