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Scottish Household Survey 2009 Quarter 3 Data Release

DescriptionA National Statistics publication for Scotland announcing the availability of the Scottish Household Survey (SHS) for a particular quarter. This will help to ensure orderly and open access to the SHS data to inform policy from people within and outwith the Scottish Government.
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateFebruary 25, 2010

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Scottish Household Survey
2009 Quarter 3 Data Release

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Data Release

This is the latest in a series of quarterly releases 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 SHS. In practice, this means that the SHS for this quarter can be used to answer questions to inform policy from people within and outwith the Scottish Government.

This release announces the availability of SHS data up to and including 2009 Quarter 3. This release covers 4,153 household interviews and 3,804 random adult interviews from the second quarter of 2009.

Background to the Survey

The SHS is a continuous survey based predominantly on a sample of the general adult population in private residences in Scotland. It is designed to provide accurate, up-to-date information about the characteristics, attitudes and behaviour of Scottish households and individuals on a range of issues. 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, Communities and Local Government.

The SHS Project Team within the Scottish Government guides all aspects of the survey, ensuring it continues to evolve to meet emerging needs. A major role is in promoting the dissemination of the survey findings and the use of the data within the Scottish Government and in the wider policy and research communities. In addition, within the Scottish Government, a number of researchers and statisticians act as Lead Analysts for the SHS in their particular policy area.

The fieldwork and preliminary data processing is undertaken by a consortium of contractors - Ipsos-MORI Scotland and TNS-BMRB


Results are reported in a series of annual reports, topic reports and other Scottish government publications which can be found on the survey's website at

The most recent report which presents a broad range of analysis is the SHS Annual Report 2007/2008. The main report provides analysis at a national level, and is supported by a series of LA Tables which present comparative analysis for all local authorities in Scotland. Further information available from the SHS annual publication summary pages at

To stimulate use of SHS data, particularly amongst local authorities, a number of data access procedures have been in place to allow access to detailed information.

Follow-up surveys provide opportunities to researchers to use the SHS to identify a sample for follow-up research. This may allow more detailed probing of certain sub-groups or variables of interest, and to examine under-lying issues within the data.

Similarly, a request to be provided with a special dataset can be submitted where the standard publicly available and anonymised datasets does not contain all the information researchers require. This should allow users to undertake more detailed analyses for a specific project.

A ad-hoc request service is also available allowing requests for analysis to be submitted to the SHS Project Team.

For information on how to access SHS data please see

Anonymised copies of the survey are deposited with the UK Data Archive ( ) after each calendar year, together with supporting documentation to facilitate wider access to, and analysis of, the information gathered. The 2007/2008 data has not yet been published at the UK Data Archive, though we are working to get this data available by March 2010.

Geographical Availability

Although the SHS has a large sample that covers the whole of Scotland, it has some geographical limitations because of the sample sizes in small local authorities and because it is designed to be representative only at national and local authority level.

In particular, the SHS is designed to be nationally representative every quarter, representative for larger Local Authorities (LA) every year, and all LA's (regardless of size) over a two-year period.

It is not appropriate to undertake geographical analysis below local authority level since the sampling techniques used in some local authorities cannot guarantee representativeness in smaller areas.

Methodological Changes

The weighting strategy now applied to the SHS differs from that used in previous SHS publications, following a review conducted in 2008 and 2009. The key driver behind this change is to account for any non-response bias in the estimates and to produce grossing factors to allow the survey to provide numerical, population based, estimates for survey measures (rather than the current percentages).

We are continuing to develop this weighting strategy further, to allow grossed up population estimates to be derived from the SHS.

A summary of the methodology review and the new weighting strategy is available from

The trends previously presented in this publication have been removed out of scope from this release. We have continued to make these available on the SHS website in case these are required for any analysis.


Official and National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics at . Both undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs and are produced free from any political interference.

Statistics assessed, or subject to assessment, by the UK Statistics Authority carry the National Statistics label, a stamp of assurance that the statistics have been produced and explained to high standards and that they serve the public good.

Further information about Official and National Statistics can be found on the UK Statistics Authority website at


Our Aim

To provide relevant and reliable information, analysis and advice that meet the needs of government, business and the people of Scotland.

For more information on the Statistician Group, please see the Scottish Government website at

Further contact details, e-mail addresses and details of previous and forthcoming publications can be found on the Scottish Government Website at

Complaints and suggestions

If you are not satisfied with our service, please write to the Chief Statistician, Mr Rob Wishart, 1N.04, St Andrews House, Edinburgh, EH1 3DG, Telephone: (0131) 244 0302, e-mail . We also welcome any comments or suggestions that would help us to improve our standards of service.


If you would like to be consulted about new or existing statistical collections or receive notification of forthcoming statistical publications, please register your interest on the Scottish Government ScotStat website at



Nic Krzyzanowski


0131 244 0824




25 February 2010