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Self-Assessed General Health

Please note that this indicator is a part of the old National Performance Framework. It is no longer being reported on in the new National Performance Framework. The new framework can be found here: https://nationalperformance.gov.scot/


d Improve self-assessed general health

Indicator Measure
Percentage of adults who assess their health as very good or good

Current Status
Since the baseline year (2008) there has been little change in the proportion of adults who assess their health as good or very good.  The level has fluctuated between 73% and 77% over this period.

NI 19 - Graph

Source: Scottish Health Survey
The data for this chart is available at the bottom of the page.

Last Update: 3 October 2017
Next Update: September 2018

Improve self-assessed general health

Why is this National Indicator important?
What will influence this National Indicator?
What is the Government's role?
How is Scotland performing?
What more do we know about this National Indicator?
Criteria for recent change
Further information
Who are our partners?
Related Strategic Objectives

Why is this National Indicator important?

Poor health is not simply due to diet, smoking or other life style choices, people's aspirations - sense of control and cultural factors have an effect. Having a sense of coherence enables people to view their external environment as comprehensible, manageable and worthwhile without which they are likely to be subject to chronic stress and poor health. This gives rise to stark inequalities in health and other social outcomes across Scotland which are not just unfair for those who are adversely affected, but also bad for the country as a whole. By holding back those who can and want to make a contribution to Scotland's prosperity, inequalities are a very real barrier to achieving the Scottish Government's purpose of sustainable economic growth.

What will influence this National Indicator?

There are a number of factors which will affect health:

  • Employment and income can improve social position and a sense of control over life situations
  • Problem-coping and solving skills can improve sense of control and alleviate anxiety
  • Physical health can influence ability to undertake life tasks including employment
  • Self-respect and esteem can allow a positive outlook on life situations
  • The quality of the physical and social environment can influence the sense of control and support networks to individuals and
  • Access to good quality services can help to build improved strategies for coping and getting on with life
  • The delivery of health and other services that are both universal and appropriately prioritised to meet the needs of those most at risk of poor health and other outcomes

What is the Government's role?

The Government continues to promote health-related behaviours of stop smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, being more physically active, having a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight. The ability and willingness of people to adopt these healthy behaviours depend significantly on their wider life circumstances. Which the Government is addressing in partnership with COSLA through its three interlinked social policy frameworks: Equally Well the Early Years Framework and Achieving Our Potential. The Government will demonstrate strong, visible, cross sector leadership in order to:

  • Support Community Planning Partnerships deliver integrated service
  • Actively involve the third sector
  • Consult and involve local communities and
  • Progress an early intervention agenda and ensure that this is reflected in decisions about resource allocation

The Government also has a direct role in ensuring the healthcare service delivers on all the dimensions of the Quality Strategy, which will contribute to improving population health.

How is Scotland performing?

In 2016, 73% of adults assessed their health as good or very good, a one percentage point decrease from 2015 (74%).

The data is available at the bottom of the page.

What more do we know about this National Indicator?

In 2016, a higher proportion of men than women have described their health as ‘good’ or ‘very good’ (74% and 73% respectively).  As age increases, a decreasing proportion of people rate their health as ‘good’ or ‘very good’.  Self-assessed health is also associated with deprivation, with poorer health reported in more deprived areas.

The data is available at the bottom of the page.

Criteria for recent change

The evaluation is based on: any difference within +/- 1 percentage point of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. An increase of 1 percentage point or more suggests the position is improving; whereas a decrease of 1 percentage point or more suggests the position is worsening.

Further Information

For information on general methodological approach, please click here.

Scotland Performs Technical Note

Who are our partners?

Community Planning Partners


Local Authorities

Local communities

NHS Scotland

Police Forces

Voluntary sector organisations

Related Strategic Objectives


Wealthier and Fairer

View National Indicator Data

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Title:Improve self-assessed general health
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