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Scottish Household Survey (2003 – Quarter 2)

DescriptionScottish Household Survey (2003 – Quarter 2)
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateNovember 04, 2003
Scottish Household Survey (2003 - Quarter 2)

This is the third in a series of quarterly Statistics Publication Notices which announces the availability of the Scottish Household Survey for a particular quarter. In accordance with National Statistics, this will help to ensure orderly and open access to the Scottish Household Survey (SHS). In practice, this means that the SHS survey for this quarter can be used to answer questions to inform policy from people within and outwith the Scottish Executive.

The SHS is a rich source of information covering social justice, transport and housing. This publication notice presents a range of results based on the main findings from the survey. Further details on the trends over time for the above topics can be found at the Data Trends section of the SHS website. The publication notice also presents the main findings from a question on drivers' use of their cars, and whether they could use other means of transport which was first introduced in April 2003, as an example of the kinds of information that the survey collects. The results of other questions which were added to the survey this year will be made available in due course.

Social Justice

  • Since the question was introduced, the percentage of adults who make use of the internet for personal use has risen steadily from 29 per cent in the first quarter of 2001 to 45 per cent in the second quarter of 2003. Men make greater personal use of the internet than women with the figures for men being on average eight percentage points higher than those for women.
  • The results from 2000 onwards, which have remained fairly steady, show that generally just over a quarter of adults give up their time to volunteer. Figures show that women are more likely to volunteer than men.

  • Since the survey started, there are between 85 per cent (in the first quarter of 1999) and 88 percent (in the second quarter of 2003) of households where either the respondent or their partner has a bank or building society account.

  • Since the survey started, there are some 12 per cent of households containing at least one person who needs regular help or care.


  • Since the survey started in 1999, the percentage of households without a car has fallen from about 37 per cent to around 34 per cent, and the percentage with two cars has risen from roughly 15 per cent to approximately 19 per cent.
  • Slightly over three-quarters of men aged 17+ have a full driving licence compared with just over half of women, and there has been little change since 1999.
  • The percentage who said that they work at or from home has increased from around 7 to 8 per cent in 1999 to about 9 to 10 per cent.
  • Around two-thirds of those who travel to work usually go by car or van, roughly 13 to 14 per cent walk and about 11 to 12 per cent take the bus - figures which have not changed greatly over the period since the survey started.


  • Data on tenure from the Scottish Household Survey show gradual but relatively consistent changes for owning one's home outright and renting from local authorities or Scottish Homes: the proportion of respondents owning their homes outright was 22 per cent in the first quarter of 1999 compared to just over 27 per cent in the second quarter of 2003, while the proportion of respondents renting decreased from over one quarter in 1999 to nearly a fifth for the second quarter of 2003.

  • The other data on tenure show a situation of relative stability, with just under 40 per cent of respondents buying their home with the help of a mortgage.
  • The data on respondents' perceptions of their neighbourhood as a good place to live showed very little change over the three-year period, with approximately half saying it was a very good place to live, and a further 40 per cent agreeing that it was a good place to live.

New question on drivers' use of their cars, and whether they could use other means of transport

Starting in April 2003, the SHS interviewers asked drivers how they make different types of journey. Those who said that they always used a car to make a particular kind of journey represented:

  • about nine out of ten of drivers who went supermarket shopping;
  • almost three-quarters of drivers who visited friends and relatives;
  • around seven in ten of drivers who went to see a GP;
  • almost two-thirds of drivers who went town centre shopping; and
  • over half of the drivers who made each of the other types of journey.

In cases where drivers say that they always use a car, the SHS interviewer asks how easy or difficult it would be for them to make such a journey without a car. In these cases, the proportions who said that:

  • it would be "fairly difficult" or "very difficult" to make such a journey without a car were:

o just over three-quarters for both supermarket shopping and visiting friends and relatives;

o about seven out of ten for evenings out for leisure purposes.

  • it would be "very easy" or "fairly easy" to make such a journey without a car were:

o almost a half for shopping for small amounts of food;

o just over a third for both going to see a GP and going to the library.

Of the different types of journey, going to the library had the highest proportion (about a quarter) of drivers who made it saying that they never used a car.

Further analysis of the new SHS questions will be included in future annual reports and other publications. Detailed results from the 2001/2002 surveys are available in the Annual Report.


Social Justice Statistics: Sandra Campbell Telephone: 0131 244 0329

Transport Statistics: Stephen Hinchliffe Telephone: 0131 244 1457

Housing Statistics: Elizabeth Fraser Telephone: 0131 244 7235

SHS Project Manager: Josephine Dean Telephone: 0131 244 8420

This is a National Statistics publication

This publication has been produced to high professional standards set out in the National Statistics Code of Practice and Release Practice Protocol.

These statistics undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference.

National Statistics publications are grouped under a number of broad subject headings (themes). This publication belongs to the Social and Welfare theme.

Details of pre-release access will be provided in the Scottish Executive Statistics Website under 'Forthcoming Publications'.


The Scottish Household Survey is a continuous survey based on a sample of the general population in private residences in Scotland. The survey started in 1999 and is financed by the Scottish Executive and undertaken by a partnership of NFO Social Research and MORI Scotland.

The aim of the survey is to provide representative information about the composition, characteristics and behaviours of Scottish households, both nationally and at a more local level. The survey covers a wide range of topics to allow links to be made between different policy areas. There is a particular focus on information to inform policy on Transport, Social Justice and Housing. Results are reported in a series of bulletins, annual reports and other Scottish Executive publications which can be found on the survey's website at

Anonymised copies of the survey are deposited with the UK Data A rchive

after each calendar year, together with supporting documentation to facilitate wider access to, and analysis of, the information gathered.