Publication - Statistics

Scottish social attitudes: attitudes to government and political engagement, 2016

Survey results on attitudes to government, political engagement, economy, standard of living and the NHS.

Scottish social attitudes: attitudes to government and political engagement, 2016


The Scottish Social Attitudes (SSA) survey has been conducted by the independent research organisation ScotCen annually each year since the advent of devolution in 1999 (with the exception of 2008). It is based on interviews of between 1,200 to 1,700 people in Scotland drawn using probability sampling. The Survey provides an important source of data on attitudes to government and to the Scottish Parliament over this period.

The SSA interviews in 2016 took place between 11 th July and 23 rd December 2016, after the referendum on the European Union (23 rd June 2016).

This report presents the findings of the Scottish Government funded questions in the SSA 2016, covering:

  • trust in government
  • perceptions of government influence over how Scotland is run
  • views on the effects of the Scottish Parliament
  • political engagement
  • attitudes to the economy, living standards and the National Health Service

We explored whether attitudes and experiences varied by social group. Details of the statistical tests conducted and the full list of variables tested are presented in Annex A. Findings from the 2015 survey are available online. [1]

Prior to 2016, SSA interviewed adults aged 18 and over. In 2016 those aged 16 or 17 were also interviewed for the first time. Details of the survey methodology are provided in the Technical Annex published alongside this report. [2]

This report was produced by professionally independent statisticians in the Office of the Chief Statistician and Strategic Analysis, in line with the UK Statistics Authority's Code of Practice for Official Statistics. [3]


Email: Sarah Martin