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Summary: Ethnicity and Health, Social Care and Sport

Summary: Ethnicity and Health, Social Care and Sport

  • In the year to 31 March 2016, 98% of the people who received home care and their ethnicity was known, were of 'White' ethnicity.
  • In the year to 31 March 2016, 96% of the people who received direct payments and their ethnicity was known, were of 'White' ethnicity. This is in line with the latest census figure in 2011 that reported that 96% of the Scottish population were white.

Source: Social Care Survey, 2015

  • Carers - 96% of people who provide unpaid care to a relative, friend or neighbour are from a “White Scottish/British/Irish” ethnic background.

Source: Scotland’s Carers

  • In 2014, when the differing age profile of ethnic groups are taken into account, the "White: Other British" and "White: Other" groups have significantly higher levels of good/very good general health compared to the "White: Scottish" majority.

  • In 2014, accounting for age differences, only the "White: Other British" groups is significantly different to the national average level of long-term limiting health conditions, around 4 percentage points lower than the "White: Scottish" majority.

  • In 2014, the "White: Polish" group has higher smoking rates than the national average; for "White: Other British" and "Asian" subgroups, the rate is lower. There are also significant differences between sexes across most ethnic groups, the prevalence among women being lower.

  • In 2014, mental wellbeing is lower in the "White: Scottish" group than in all other "White" ethnic subgroups. Differences for the "Asian" and "All other ethnic groups" are not statistically significant after age standardisation.

Source: Scottish Surveys Core Questions (SSCQ) 2014


  • White British respondents had the lowest levels of wellbeing of all ethnic groups (mean WEMWBS score of 49.8). This was significantly lower than that the scores of White Other (51.2), African, Caribbean or Black (53.7) and Asian Other (53.5) ethnic groups. 
  • Chinese respondents were the most likely to rate their health as good or very good (91%) and this was significantly different from the national average.

Source: Scottish Health Survey Topic Report: Equality Groups


  • The Scottish Government collects information on the experiences of people in relation to healthcare services through the Scottish care experience survey programme.  Both patient and non-patient factors influence people’s experiences. While patient characteristics such as age and gender account for some of the variation in experiences, non-patient factors such as the individual GP practice, GP practice size, type of admission to hospital and individual hospital are also an important influence on experience.
  • Analysis has been undertaken which takes all of these factors into account in relation to differences in experiences for GP, Inpatient and Cancer care.  This analysis can be found at:

 Sources: Variations in the Experience of Inpatients in Scotland: Analysis of the 2016 Inpatient Survey

Scottish Patient Experience Survey of GP and Local NHS Services 2011/12 Volume 3: Variation in the Experiences of Primary Care Patients

Inpatient Experience Survey Volume 3: Exploring differences in experience

Scottish Cancer Patient Experience Survey 2015/16 - Exploring Differences in Cancer Patient Experiences


  • As at end March 2017, 65.5% of staff employed by NHSScotland declared their ethnicity as White, 0.3% as Mixed, 2.0% as Asian, 0.6% as Black and 0.3% as Other.  Ethnicity is unknown or not declared for 31.2% of staff.  (Information on disability, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation is based on data from a self-reported questionnaire. As this is not mandatory, response rates and completion are variable across NHSScotland.)

Source: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Workforce/


Useful Links

Ethnicity Page

Health, Social Care and Sport Page

National Performance Framework

National Performance Framework

Fifty National Indicators enable progress towards the achievement of the National Outcomes and ultimately the delivery of the Purpose to be tracked.

Indicators are chosen to show how the Scottish Government are progressing on the range of Outcomes.

National Indicator number 26: Reduce the percentage of adults who smoke, data table

- progress against this National Indicator, broken down by Ethnicity, can be found under the 'What more do we know about the National indicator?' heading.

Publications and Outputs

Publications and Outputs

Measuring Use of Health Services by Equality Group (NHS Scotland Information Services Division, 2017) This report describes the current availability of equality data in routine national administrative health datasets in Scotland that are used for a number of secondary uses such as planning, performance monitoring, benchmarking and research. It covers age, disability, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation and transgender

ISD Equality Evidence Finder (NHS Scotland Information Services Division) Summarises the NHS data available by equality characteristics

Scottish Surveys Core Questions 2016 (April 2018) Official statistics publication on equality groups across a range of measures from harmonised questions across the major SG population surveys. This publication provides statistics centred around protected equality characteristics and sub-national geographies: age, disability, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, country of birth, deprivation and Health Board/Police Scotland Division.

Scottish Household Survey 2016 (September 2017) This report presents reliable and up-to-date information on the composition, characteristics and behaviour of Scottish households, both nationally and at a sub-national level. This includes analysis of age, deprivation, disability, ethnicity, gender, religion and sexual orientation


Self-Directed Support 2015-16 (July 2017) This report provides analysis of information collected by the 2016 Social Care Survey for all Self-directed Support options. It contains breakdowns by age, deprivation, and gender

Inpatient Experience Survey Volume 3: Exploring differences in experience (April 2017) This report explores differences in the self-reported experiences of different groups of people based on the 2015/16 Scottish Inpatient Experience Survey. It considers age, deprivation, disability, ethnicity, gender, religion and sexual orientation

Active Scotland Outcomes: Indicator Equality Analysis (November 2015) This report presents an analysis of equality data across the indicators from the Active Scotland Outcomes Framework. Many data gaps were highlighted, however, available evidence points to inequality of opportunities and outcomes for all groups with protected characteristics across all the Active Scotland outcomes.

Scottish Patient Experience Survey of GP and Local NHS Services 2011/12 Volume 3: Variation in the Experiences of Primary Care Patients (March 2013) This report explores variations in the self-reported experiences of different people using GP and out-of–hours health services. The main source of information is the Scottish Patient Experience Survey of GP and Local NHS Services 2011/12. It considers age, deprivation, disability, ethnicity, gender and religion

Scottish Government Equality Outcomes: Ethnicity Evidence Review (2013) A comprehensive review of available evidence in relation to ethnicity.

Dimensions of Diversity:Population Differences and Health Improvement Opportunities (NHS Health Scotland, 2010) This gives a concise overview, of basic health information about a range of population groups in Scotland, linking users to further sources of information.


Future Developments

Future Developments

Development of the website to include more interactive spreadsheets that provide additional anaylses to those in the publications

Health, Social Care and Housing - Data linking project

External Links

External Links

Please note that you will leave the Scottish Government web site by clicking on any of the following links, and that the Scottish Government and its staff are not responsible for content external to this web site. The research below has been carried out independently of the Scottish Government and the findings do not necessarily represent the views of the Scottish Government or Scottish Ministers

External Publications and Outputs

The changing ethnic profiles of Glasgow and Scotland (GCPH, September 2017) a report by Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH) aimed at providing a better understanding of the potential population health implications of the changing ethnic profiles of Scotland and, in particular, Glasgow

External Research Organisations

NHS Health Scotland - Provide an introduction to equality, health inequalities and human rights in relation to health outcomes for each of the nine protected characteristics, signposting to qualitative research about access to services, practice guidance and case studies to help planners and practitioners design and deliver services which meet the needs of individuals and communities. Their Monthly Equalities Alert provides an update on the latest articles and journals covering health in relation to protected characteristics and population groups.


Scottish Public Health Observatory - Presents information on health inequalities covering children and young people, older people, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation.



Health, Social Care & Sport