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Scottish Crime Survey 2003




The Scottish *ACORN classification was developed by CACI using over 100 variables from the 1991 Census. Key factors such as home ownership, car ownership, age, health, employment and occupation were included in the cluster analysis, in addition to data from specific Census questions which were asked only in Scotland. This latter group included the floor level of residence (to provide a better indication of the presence of tenements and flats), the level of overcrowding (to provide a measure of deprivation) and whether respondents spoke Gaelic. The Scottish *ACORN classification segments Scottish housing into 43 types which aggregate up to eight main groups. The ACORN analyses presented in the report are based on groups, but the data are also tagged with codes for the 44 types and these would therefore be available for use in secondary analysis.

Group A: Affluent Consumers with Large Houses

This group contains the most affluent people in Scotland. The majority of people in this group live in large detached houses, and are more likely to have access to two or more cars. They are typically on high incomes and are employed in professional or managerial jobs in the service sector.

1. Wealthy Families, Largest Detached Houses
2. Wealthy Older Residents, Home Owning Semis
3. Affluent Young Families with Mortgages
4. Affluent Older Couples & Families, Often Rural

Group B: Prosperous Home Owners

This group is typical of middle class Scotland and its residents are likely to live in their own homes. Incomes, car ownership and educational qualifications are above average in these areas. These areas are found throughout Scotland, mainly in city suburbs or in better-off towns and villages.

5. Better-Off Families, Mixed Dwellings
6. Younger Families with Mortgages, Commuters
7. Younger Families with Mortgages, New Homes
8. Older People in Suburban Areas & Small Towns
9. Working Couples, Owner Occupied Terraced Housing
10. Skilled Workers, Owner Occupied Semi-Detached Houses
11. Better-Off Older Residents, Mainly Villages

Group C: Agricultural Communities

This group covers Scotland's better-off farming communities and also the Gaelic speaking Western Isles. Type 12 areas are found throughout Scotland and the residents are more likely to live in large houses, either owned or tied, and car ownership is high. In type 13, there is a high incidence of households which are not a main residence which indicates these areas include many holiday homes.

12. Home Based Workers, Agricultural Areas
13. Gaelic Speakers, Remote Areas & Islands

Group D: Private Tenements and Flats

These neighbourhoods are found in the centres of Scotland's largest towns and cities. The households are likely to contain people living alone, professional couples and students. Many households are owner occupied but there is also a high incidence of private renting. Car ownership is below average and usage of all forms of public transport to travel to work is high.

14. Younger Couples & Families, Owner Occupied Flats
15. Skilled Workers, Owners Occupied Flats
16. Young Professionals & Students, Private & Rented Flats
17. Elderly People, Private Flats
18. Professionals & Students, Private & Rented Tenements
19. Younger Residents with Mortgages, Tenements
20. Younger Residents with Mortgages, Smaller Tenements

Group E: Better-Off Council Areas, Homes Often Purchased

These areas are characterised by people who have bought their council house or flat. They are most likely to contain older couples or families, although in some instances, younger families have exercised their right to buy. While not affluent areas, unemployment is at or below average.

21. Older Residents, New Home Owners
22. Older Residents, Semi-Detached, New Home Owners
23. Retired Residents, New Home Owners
24. Older Families, Some New Home Owners
25. Older People, Some New Home Owners
26 .Younger New Home Owners, Often New Towns
27. Families in Scottish Homes, Some New Home Owners

Group F: Council Estates, Less Well-Off Families

These areas are typified by families of all ages living in council terraces and flats. There is little overcrowding since homes tend to be larger. Unemployment is above average and those that are in work tend to be in manual and unskilled occupations.

28. Younger Families in Flats, Many Children
29. Younger Families in Mixed Dwellings, Some Lone Parents
30. Younger Large Families, Council Terraces
31. Families, Older Children, Terraces
32. Older Large Families, Semi-Detached Houses

Group G: Council Estates, Older residents

These areas contain couples or single people aged 55+ living in small council flats or terraced homes. The type and location of these properties and the age of residents means that there is a high incidence of limiting long term illness. Unemployment is above average and there are low levels of car ownership.

33. Older Residents, Low Rise Council Flats
34. Retired People, Health Problems, Mixed Dwellings
35. Retired People, Council Terraces
36. Single Pensioners, Health Problems, Larger Flats
37. Single Pensioners, Health Problems, City Centres

Group H: Poorest Council Estates

This group comprises those council estates likely to have most serious social problems, with the highest levels of unemployment, overcrowding, large and single parent families. These estates house large numbers of residents dependent upon the state for the provision of basic services. Car ownership is significantly below the Scottish average.

38. Poorer Families, High Unemployment, Low Rise Housing
39 .Singles, Housing Association Flats, Overcrowding
40. Older Residents, High Unemployment, High Rise Flats
41. High Unemployment, Some High Rise Flats, Scottish Homes
42 .Many Lone Parents, High Unemployment, Council Flats
43. Many Lone Parents, Greatest Hardship, Council Flats


This group comprises those areas which do not fit into the 43 categories already mentioned because they contain a relatively high level of diversity in terms of property types and the socio-demographic characteristics of their inhabitants. The proportion of properties in this group is very small.

44. Unclassified

Occupation Groups




Approximately 3% of the total population.


Approximately 25% of the total population.

These are professional people, very senior managers in business or commerce or top level civil servants.

All skilled manual workers and those manual workers with responsibility for other people.

Retired people, previously grade A, and their surviving partner.

Retired people, previously grade C2, with pensions from their job.


Approximately 14% of the total population.

Surviving partners, if receiving pensions from their late partner's occupation.

Middle management executives in large organisations, with appropriate qualifications.


Approximately 19% of the total population.

Principal officers in local government and civil service.

All semi-skilled and unskilled manual workers, and apprentices and trainees to skilled workers.

Top management or owners of small business concerns, educational and service establishments.

Retired people, previously grade D, with pensions from their job.

Retired people, previously grade B, and their surviving partner.

Surviving partners, if receiving pensions from their late partner's occupation.


Approximately 29% of the total population.


Approximately 13% of the total population.

Junior management, owners of small establishments, and all others in non-manual positions.

All those entirely dependent upon the state long term, through sickness, unemployment, old age or other reasons. Those unemployed for a period exceeding six months (otherwise classify on previous occupation).

Jobs in this group have very varied responsibilities and educational requirements.

Casual workers and those without a regular income.

Retired people, previously grade C1, and their surviving partner.

Only households without a Chief Wage Earner will be coded in this group.