Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy


Scottish Household Survey 2003-2004

The sixth Annual and Technical Reports of the Scottish Household Survey are released today.

It provides accurate, representative and up-to-date information on the characteristics, composition and behaviour of households in Scotland in a number of areas, particularly relating to transport, social justice and housing.

The results are based on interviews carried out with 30,822 households throughout Scotland in 2003/2004.

Some of the key findings include:

Who we are

• Almost a third (32 per cent) of households contain only one adult (single adult or single pensioner)

• Almost a third (32 per cent contain two adults, while households containing five or more people make up only 5 per cent of all households

• A quarter (25 per cent) of households contain children (aged under 16 years)

• 54 per cent of adults are married and eight per cent are cohabiting with a partner. 20 per cent of adults are single, 10 per cent widowed, five per cent divorced and three per cent separated

Where we live

• Owner-occupation – either owned outright or buying with a mortgage – now accounts for almost two-thirds (65 per cent) of households’ tenure, with 27 per cent owning outright. 29 per cent of households rent from a social landlord and 6 per cent rent from a private landlord.

• Owner-occupation as a household tenure has continued to show a steady increase since 1999 (23 per cent, 1999 to 28 per cent in 2004.

• Just over a third (35 per cent) of all households live in flats, with these properties featuring more strongly in large urban areas than in other areas

• Annual turnover is high in the private rented sector where 44 per cent of adults had been in their current property for less than one year

• Almost two-thirds (65 per cent) of households have at least one more bedroom than they require, with only three per cent having fewer bedrooms than required. One per cent of households still share rooms

• Homelessness had been experienced by four per cent of the adults now living in private households at some point in their lives. 57 per cent of those reporting experiencing homelessness were female

• Of those who had ever experienced homelessness, 44 per cent had experienced it at least once in the last two years

• 92 per cent of adults say their local area is either a ‘very good’ or ‘fairly good’ place to live, but there is considerable variation between tenures. 63 per cent of households in owner-occupied accommodation and 55 per cent of those buying their home with the help of a mortgage rated their neighbourhood as very good. In the rented sectors around a third of social rented tenants say their area is ‘very good’ – 35 per cent of those renting from a local authority or Scottish Homes and 33 per cent of those renting from a housing association or co-operative

• The most common ‘likes’ are that the area is ‘quiet and peaceful’ (56 per cent), it is convenient for shopping (33 per cent); ‘good neighbours’ (33 per cent) and that it has ‘friendly people’ (29 per cent)

• The most common ‘dislike’ mentioned was ‘young people hanging about or there being nothing for young people to do’ (14 per cent of all respondents)

• 98 per cent of men and 95 per cent of women feel very or fairly safe when home alone at night. 85 per cent of men and 63 per cent of women feel very or fairly safe when walking alone in the local neighbourhood after dark

How we live

• Around two-thirds of households (66 per cent) in Scotland have access to at least one motor vehicle for private use

• Households in large urban areas are least likely to have access to a motor vehicle for private use. In contrast, households in rural areas are most likely to have access to two or more motor vehicles for private use. This is the case for 39 per cent in accessible rural areas, compared with 16 per cent in large urban areas

• Internet access has continued to increase from 41 per cent in 2003 to 43 per cent of households having internet access in 2004. Of households with a net annual income of over £40,000, 89 per cent have home internet access. This compares with 17 per cent of households with a net annual income of £6,000 or less

• Across Scotland as a whole, 53 per cent of households have savings or investments

• The proportion of households with a bank or building society account has continued to increase since 1999. 85.8 per cent had an account in 1999 compared with 89.9 per cent in 2004

• 27 per cent of adults (aged 16 and over) smoke cigarettes, showing a 1 per cent decrease from 2003 results, and a continuing downward trend downwards from 30 per cent in 1999.

• Around a third (34 per cent) contain at least one person with a long-standing limiting illness, health problem or disability

• Just over one in 9 (12 per cent) of all households contain someone who needs regular help or care because they are sick, disabled or elderly

Our Communities

• Just under a quarter of adults (23 per cent) say that they gave up time in the previous 12 months to help as a volunteer for a charity, club, campaign or organisation

• Rates of volunteering are highest in remote rural areas (37 per cent) and lowest in other urban areas (20 per cent)

• Those with access to a car are far less likely to say public transport is convenient (76 per cent) compared to those without (90 per cent)

• 59 per cent of all households had recycled at least some glass, paper, metal or plastic in the past month

• The most common religious affiliation is with the Church of Scotland, 44 per cent of all adults being of that faith

• Overall, 31 per cent of all adults have no religious affiliation although this varies by age, with younger adults being more likely to have no religious affiliation

The Scottish Household Survey (SHS) is a continuous, multi-purpose survey which started in February 1999 and is being carried out on behalf of the Scottish Executive by TNS Social and MORI Scotland.

The results presented in the report are based on face-to-face interviews which took place between January 2003 and December 2004 (inclusive) and collected information from households.

The survey is designed to provide nationally representative samples of private households and of the adult population in private households. The survey is also designed to provide data for each local authority over a 2 year period. This is achieved by disproportionately sampling in each local authority to achieve a target of at least 550 interviews over the 2 years.

Although the survey is chosen at random, the people who take part in the survey will not necessarily be a representative cross-section of the whole population. Like all sample surveys the results of the SHS are estimates of the corresponding figures for the whole population and these results might vary from the true values in the population. For further information on the representatives and statistical significance of the SHS, please refer to Appendix 3 of the annual report.

Regarding questions posed about social rented sector, although Scottish Homes changed it’s name to Communities Scotland, some tenants still refer to renting from Scottish Homes and for this reason, the wording of the questionnaire has remained the same.

The 2003/2004 SHS annual report has published data on economic activity, employment and unemployment. Please note that the official source for all employment, unemployment and economic activity statistics is the Labour Force Survey (LFS) which provides data on levels and rates. Further information on LFS/SHS comparisons can be obtained in the SHS 2003/2004 Methodology and Fieldwork Outcomes publications. Please refer to the Annual Scottish LFS 2004 report (published 28th July 2005) for the definitive source of economic activity data in Scotland.
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Source-Scottish Executive

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