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Public Attitudes

Scottish Household Survey

Metaname Metavalue
Source Scottish Household Survey
Description The Scottish Household Survey (SHS) is a continuous survey based on on a sample of the general population in private residences in Scotland. 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.
Accuracy/Suitability/Reliability Although the SHS sample is chosen at random, the people who take part in the survey will not necessarily be a representative cross-section of the population. Like all sample surveys the results of the SHS are estimates of the corresponding figures for the whole population and these results might vary from the true values in the population for three main reasons:
1) The sample source does not completely cover the population because accommodation in hospitals, prisons, military bases, larger student halls, etc. are excluded from the sampling frame. The SHS provides a sample of private households rather than all households. The effect of this on the representativeness of the data are not known. 2) Some people refuse to take part in the survey and some cannot be contacted by interviewers. If these people are systematically different from the people who are interviewed, this represents a potential source of bias in the data. Comparison of the SHS data with other sources suggests that for the survey as a whole, any bias due to non-response is not significant. 3) Samples always have some natural variability because of the random selection of households and people within households. In some areas where the sample is clustered, the selection of sampling points adds to this variability.
Each of these sources of variability becomes much more important when small sub-samples of the population are examined. Without knowing the true values (for the population as a whole) of some quantities, we cannot be sure about the extent of any such biases in the SHS. However, comparison of SHS results with information from other sources suggests that they are broadly representative of the overall Scottish population, and therefore that any non-contact or non-response biases are not large overall. However, such biases could, of course, be more significant for some sub-groups of the population or in certain Council areas, particularly those that have the highest non-response rates.
Generally speaking, single adult and large adult households are under-represented, and single pensioner and older smaller households over-represented in the SHS.
Further information on the accuracy of SHS data are available through our Methodology and Fieldwork Outcomes report and in summary form in the Annual Report.
In general, percentages in tables have been rounded to the nearest whole number. Zero values are shown as a dash (-), values greater than 0% but less that 0.5% are shown as 0% and values of 0.5% but less than 1% are rounded up to 1%. Columns or rows may not add to 100% because of rounding or where multiple responses to a question are possible. In some tables, percentages have been removed from columns and replaced with ‘*’ where the base on which percentages would be calculated is less than 100. These data are judged to be insufficiently reliable for publication.
Quality Assurance The SHS is a Scottish government National Statistics Publication and is underpinned by sound methods and assured quality.
We produce annually a ‘Methodology and Fieldwork Outcomes’ report which provides information on the survey methodology, including sampling, data collection methods and limitations of SHS data. It also includes information on fieldwork targets and outcomes, data quality and weighting of the SHS.
Comparability Core questions, providing standard information about the composition and characteristics of households, remain largely unchanged over time. However, the continuous nature of the survey and its modular design permits some flexibility, and the questionnaire has evolved over time.
Data Revisions The SHS adheres to the corporate policy statement on revisions and corrections noted here:
Key things to note are: 1) There are no SHS statistics which are subject to regular scheduled revisions. 2) All revisions and corrections will be brought to the attention of users as soon as they are identified with appropriate notes added to the relevant publications and releases online. 3) Substantial revisions will be summarised on this page.
Frequency of Use of Local Greenspace' was previously reported in the Key Scottish Environment Statistics (KSES) publications of 2010 and 2011, however, a different data source was used to the SHS data source found in KSES 2012. The 2010/2011 KSES page on 'Greenspace', used the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey (SSA) 2009 data and stated that “two thirds of people in Scotland live less than 5 minute walk away from an area of local green or open space”. The apparent discrepancy will be largely to do with question wording. The SHS asks: • How far is it to a local greenspace area that you and your family can use? How long would it take me to walk there? [greenspace defined as a park, green or other area of grass in their neighbourhood. Leaving aside any private garden space that they might have]. The SSA asked: • How far away from your home is the nearest green or open space? [defined as a park, wood or beach]. There should be consistency from now as the first question is in the SHS for the foreseeable whereas the SSA was a one off which had the space to ask people follow ups about whether their answers referred to a local beach etc. Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2009:
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