This website is no longer being updated. Please go to GOV.SCOT

Technical Note: Increase cultural engagement

Increase cultural engagement


The indicator measures the percentage of adults who have either participated in at least one cultural activity or who have attended or visited at least one cultural event or place in the last 12 months.


The figures for this indicator come from the Scottish Household Survey (SHS) which is a National Statistics product. Scottish Government are the owners of the data.

The data are published in the Scottish Household Survey Annual Report, which is published annually in September via

The SHS asks a randomly selected adult in the household whether they have participated in a cultural activity in the last 12 months. It also asks whether adults have attended a cultural event or visited a place of culture in the last 12 months. The “Increase cultural engagement” indicator is measured by identifying all adults who have said that they have either participated in a cultural activity or who attended or visited at least one cultural event or place in the last 12 months.

Results at Local Authority level are available annually for Local Authorities since 2012.

The Scottish Household Survey (SHS) previously used a fairly simplistic weighting strategy, where no additional corrective weighting was applied to the data beyond that required to account for sample design and differential response rates between Local Authorities.

Following a review completed in 2009, a new weighting strategy has been implemented which accounts for both the basic design weights (the old strategy) and any residual mismatch between the profile of responding households/adults and the profile of the population. All SHS estimates are now calibrated against household and population estimates produced by the General Register Office for Scotland.

Further information can be obtained from:


The baseline year is 2007 as this is the last data point before the start of the first term of the current administration. The baseline figure is 86.6%.

However, the wording of the cultural attendance and participation questions contained in the Scottish Household Survey were altered in 2012 meaning that data for 2012 and 2013 is not comparable with that collected between 2007 and 2011. Consequently, the indicator was not updated when the 2012 data was released. The update with the 2013 data represents the first time there have been two comparable data points after the questions changed in the SHS.

Percentage of adults who have participated in a cultural activity or attended a place of culture in the past 12 months


Percentage of adults


Old wording

New wording























- 90.8%
2015 -


2016 -



This evaluation is based on: any difference within +/- 2 percentage points of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. An increase of 2 percentage points or more suggests the position is improving; whereas a decrease of 2 percentage points or more suggests the position is worsening.

For more information on the general methodology applied on Scotland Performs:

General methodological approach


From January 2012, a new Scottish Household Survey (SHS) went in to the field which had a substantially restructured sample design and integrated the previous Scottish House Condition Survey (SHCS). The new survey uses a fully unclustered core and modular structure with some questions being asked of the full sample and others of a one-third sub-sample. The overall sample size has reduced from around 14,000 household interviews to about 11,000 though improvements in efficiency of the survey design mean it will be possible to attain local authority estimates on an annual basis where analysis permits. While the overall sample size of the survey has reduced, the survey design improvements has meant that the precision of estimates have not been affected significantly.

The question on disability was changed in quarter 4 of 2012 which has resulted in a break in the time-series for neighbourhood rating and disability from 2013 onwards.  The disaggregation tables include the old time series (from 1999 to Q3 2012) and also a new table with the new question.  From 2013 two questions are now asked:

(1) Do you have a physical or mental health condition or illness lasting or expected to last 12 months or more?

(2) If yes, to what extend does your condition or illness reduce your ability to carry out day to day activities.

Revisiting options for the national indicator on cultural engagement is planned to happen as part of wider review of the Scottish Household Survey culture and heritage questions.

There are revisions to first published 2013 data for White other, Asian, Asian Scottish or Asian British and Other ethnic group breakdowns.


No associated target.