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A new report providing detailed results from the Scottish Household Survey has been published by the Scottish execu...
A new report providing detailed results from the Scottish Household Survey has been published by the Scottish executive. It is the first in an annual series of reports about people living in Scotland today.

The multi-purpose survey has been commissioned by the Scottish executive to provide accurate, up-to-date information on the characteristics, composition and behaviour of Scottish households in a number of key policy areas, particularly relating to transport, social inclusion and public services.

Some of the key findings from the first Annual Report show:

Who we are

The majority of households contain only one or two people, with 30% of households containing one person and 34% containing two.

The average (mean) household size in Scotland is 2.36 people.

Households with children make up 28% of all households: 13% with one child, 11% with two children and 4% with three or more children.

Single parent families make up 20% of households with children.

53% of adults in private households are female while 47% are male.

57% of adults in private households are married, with a further 6% cohabiting (living together).

1.2% of adults in private households are from a minority ethnic group.

Where we live

61% of households either own their property outright or are buying it with a loan or mortgage.

Social rented housing accounts for 32% of household tenures while privately rented property accounts for 5%.

Owning outright is more common in rural areas, with 29% of homes owned outright in accessible rural areas and 37% in remote rural areas.

Overall, 80% of Scottish households have a working smoke alarm. This falls to only 56% of private tenants.

Over 90% of adults rate their neighbourhood as either a 'very good' or 'fairly good' place to live.

3% of households had been burgled in the 12 months prior to their interview and 3% of all households (4% of households with a vehicle) have had a vehicle stolen.

What we do

Men are more likely than women to be self-employed or be employed full-time while women are more likely than men to work part-time.

16% of women look after the home or family, with this figure peaking at 23% of women between the ages of 25 to 34.

67% of adults travel to their place of work or education in a car or van either as a driver or passenger. A further 14% walk, 11% travel by bus, 3% travel by rail and 2% cycle.

24% of adults are undertaking some form of education or training.

23% of adults have no education qualifications.

How we live

64% of Scottish households have access to at least one motor vehicle for private use.

80% of households in rural area have access to at least one vehicle compared with 52% of those living in the 'four cities'. Rural households are also more likely to have access to more than one motor vehicle.

30% of Scottish households have a computer and 14% of households (47% of those with a computer) have access to the internet from home.

53% of adults describe their health as good, 32% as fairly good, and 15% as not good.

30% of households contain at least one person with a long-standing limiting illness, health problem or disability.

In over a quarter (27%) of households with children under the age of 18, someone outside the household cared for the child(ren) for more than 5 hours in the previous week.

Almost two-thirds (62%) of those who had used childcare for more than five hours in the previous week had not paid anything for it.

Our communities

One in five people give up their time to help as an organiser or volunteer for a charity, club or organisation.

3 in 10 adults made contact with their local council in the past 12 months

47% of adults do not use recycling facilities, while 1 in 3 adults recycle at least once a month.

Reported participation in the 1999 Scottish Parliament, local council and European Parliament elections increases with age.

Lack of interest, being away on election day and being too busy were the most commonly cited reasons for not voting.


The Scottish Household Survey is a continuous, multi-purpose survey which started in February 1999 and is being carried out on behalf of the Scottish Executive by System Three and MORI Scotland. The survey is based on a random sample of private households in Scotland.

The results presented in this report are based on face-to-face interviews which took place between February and December 1999 (inclusive) and collected information from 14,714 households.

Key results from the survey are released on a quarterly basis and 4 quarterly bulletins have previously been published. This is the first in an annual series on reports. An accompanying technical report including documentation of the survey procedures will be published shortly.

Non-media copies of the report Scotland's People: Results from the 1999 Scottish Household Survey (Volume 1: Annual Report) by Steven Hope, Simon Braunholtz, Amanda Playfair, Anna Dudleston, Dave Ingram, Chris Martin and Becki Sawyer are available from The Stationery Office Bookshop, 71 Lothian Road, Edinburgh, EH3 9AZ (tel: 0870 606 55 66), priced£20 (ISBN: 1-84268-026-9) are also freely available on the survey's website -

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