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Population Surveys in Scotland

There are a wide range of topics covered in population surveys in Scotland. To help users, the Scottish Government has produced a topic guide covering the major Scottish Government population surveys, and an inventory of UK longitudinal surveys.

Cross-sectional survey topic guide

Inventory of UK Longitudinal Surveys (or scroll down this page to see summary information and links to the main longitudinal surveys in Scotland)

Scottish Cross Sectional Surveys

Scottish Household Survey

The survey 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.

Scottish House Condition Survey

This is the largest single housing research project in Scotland, and the only national survey to look at the physical condition of Scotland's homes as well as the experiences of householders. Please note that from 2012 onwards the SHCS will become part of the Scottish Household Survey.

Scottish Health Survey

The Scottish Health Survey provides a detailed picture of the health of the Scottish population in private households and is designed to make a major contribution to the monitoring of health in Scotland.

Scottish Crime and Justice Survey

The Scottish Crime and Justice Survey is a large-scale continuous survey measuring adults' experience and perceptions of crime in Scotland.

Scottish Environmental Attitudes Survey

The 2002 survey of Public Attitudes to the Environment in Scotland is designed to provide data on the environmental knowledge, actions and attitudes of the Scottish population.

Census 2011

The Census collects information every ten years about the characteristics of people and households in Scotland. It is used by central and local government, health authorities and many other organisations to allocate resources and plan services for everyone.

Scottish Social Attitudes Survey

The Scottish Social Attitudes Survey was launched by the Scottish Centre for Social Research (ScotCen) in 1999, following the advent of devolution. Its aims are to facilitate the study of public opinion and inform the development of public policy in Scotland.

UK/GB Cross Sectional Population Surveys

UK Labour Force Survey,Labour Force Survey - Scottish Results

The Labour Force Survey collects information on the United Kingdom labour market and is the primary source for unemployment estimates. The survey publishes results monthly and the combined annual sample is known as the Annual Population Survey.

UK Family Resources Survey,Family Resources Survey - Scottish Results

The Family Resources Survey covers the whole of the United Kingdom and collects information on the income and circumstances of private households. The survey is the primary source for poverty estimates.

General Lifestyle Survey

The General Lifestyle Survey covers the whole of Great Britain and collects data on five core topics - education, employment, health, housing, and population and family information. Other areas such as leisure, household burglary, smoking and drinking are covered periodically.

Expenditure and Food Survey

The Expenditure and Food Survey covers the Whole of the United Kingdom and primarily collects information on household expenditure on goods and services and household income.


The Office for National Statistics runs an Omnibus survey, called opinions. This is a multipurpose social survey which provides quick and reliable information about topics of immediate interest.

Longitudinal Surveys

Growing Up in Scotland

Growing Up in Scotland is a study that follows the lives of a sample of Scotland's children from infancy through to their teens. This is one of the largest longitudinal studies ever done in Scotland and will provide information that will help develop policies affecting children and their families in Scotland.

Millennium Cohort Study

The Millennium Cohort Study offers large-scale information about children born into the 21st century and the families who are bringing them up, for the four countries of the United Kingdom.

Wealth and Assets Survey

The Wealth and Assets Survey is a longitudinal survey collecting information about the economic well being of households and individuals in Great Britain. In particular the survey asks people about their assets and liabilities in order to estimate household and personal wealth.

Life Opportunities Survey

The Life Opportunities Survey is a longitudinal survey that aims to measure people's use of local facilities, including public transport and health services, and their participation in leisure activities and employment opportunities.