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Sources of evidence: Scotland

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This factsheet has links to various sources of evidence (websites, surveys and publications) which you may find helpful when estimating who will benefit from your project at the start. We have grouped these sources under a number of themes: cross theme, health, learning, security, employment and inclusion.

We expect that many projects will find the evidence they need in the websites listed under ‘cross theme’.

Remember that local authorities also collect information about the people who live in their areas and may therefore be a useful source of evidence.


Cross theme

1. Useful websites

General Register Office for Scotland
This site provides a wide range of statistical information including council area profiles (which provide detailed demographic factsheets for each council area), statistics by a range of themes and Census 2001 results.

Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics
This site provides a range of small area statistics including information on health, education, poverty, unemployment, population, crime and social / community issues.

The Scottish Government
This site provides statistics and publications on a range of topics such as health and community care, transport and travel and lifelong learning.

Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD)
The SIMD identifies small area concentrations of multiple deprivation across all of Scotland.

Scottish Poverty Information Unit
This site provides a range of poverty information, including poverty statistics and research reports.

Publication Hub – Gateway to UK National Statistics
This site provides access to a wide range of statistics and publications covering topics such as population, health and social care and equality and diversity. Data is available at Scotland level.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF)
The JRF site provides qualitative and quantitative research specific to poverty, regions and an ageing society. While the majority of research is conducted on a UK wide basis, the JRF publishes research specific to Scotland.

The Young Foundation
The Young Foundation site provides a wide range of publications on topics including: family life, social mobility, poverty and civil society.

2. Useful surveys

Scottish Household Survey
This 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. This website provides a series of reports and articles on the results of the survey.

The Scottish Crime and Justice Survey
This is a large-scale continuous survey measuring adults' experience and perceptions of crime in Scotland. A report of the main results from the 2009/10 survey is available from this website.

Public Attitudes to the Environment in Scotland
This survey conducted in 2002 provides data on the environmental knowledge, actions and attitudes of a sample of the Scottish population. The main survey report and key findings are available from this website.

Opinions (Omnibus) Survey
This is a multipurpose social surveywhich can provide quick and reliable information about topics of immediate interest. Topics covered have included public attitudes to road congestion, smoking, drinking, human rights and contraception. This website includes a number of reports relating to the survey results. Data is available at Scotland level.

Family Resources Survey
This survey provides facts and figures about the living conditions and resources of people in the UK today. A report summarising the information collected from the 2009-10 survey can be accessed from this website.  Data is available at Scotland level.

National Travel Survey
This survey is designed to monitor long-term trends in personal travel in Great Britain. The survey collects information on where, how, why and when people travel as well as factors which affect personal travel such as car availability, driving licence holding and access to key services. Data is available at Great Britain level.

3. Useful publications

The Position of Scotland’s Equality Groups (2011)
This study seeks to offer discussion and analysis to inform an understanding of how well positioned people in Scotland with equalities characteristics are to access the benefits of economic recovery.

Equality issues in Scotland: a review of research, 2000- 08 (2009)
This report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission sets out the findings of a review of research (from 2000 to 2008) on equality issues in Scotland. The review covers gender, age, disability, ethnicity, religion/belief and sexual orientation.

Significant inequalities in Scotland: Identifying significant inequalities and priorities for action (2010)
This report presents the findings from research to develop greater clarity about significant inequality in Scotland.

Gender Audit of Statistics: Comparing the position of women and men in Scotland (2007)
This research report provides a review of statistics on gender differences and inequalities in Scotland across a range of key areas of social and economic life.

Gypsy Travellers in Contemporary Scotland (2011)
This study focuses on Gypsy/Travellers in contemporary Scotland.

Social Trends
Social trends draws together social and economic data from a wide range of sources to provide a comprehensive guide to UK society today and how it has been changing. It covers a range of subjects including health, education, population, lifestyles and social participation. Data is available at Scotland level.

How fair is Britain? The first triennial review (2010)
This report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission brings together evidence from a range of sources, including Census data, surveys and research, to paint a picture of how far what happens in people’s real lives matches up to the ideals of equality. Data is available at Scotland level.

Sinking and swimming:  understanding Britain's unmet needs (2009)
This report by the Young Foundation explores how psychological and material needs are being met and unmet in Britain. The report is based on the analysis of statistical data, case studies, surveys and hundreds of conversations with people across the country. Data is available at Scotland level.

Religion or belief
This briefing paper presents recent statistical data in Britain on a range of issues relating to religion or belief.

Refugees and asylum seekers: a review from an equality and human rights perspective (2010)
This report examines the situation of asylum seekers and refugees from an equality and human rights perspective. Due to the limited availability of official data, this report draws strongly on qualitative and more localised studies.

Poverty and ethnicity: A review of evidence (2011)
This paper summarises current evidence on poverty and ethnicity in six areas: education, work, caring, social networks, the role of places and inequality within ethnic groups.


The Scottish Health Survey
This 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. The survey’s annual report is available from this website as well as a number of topic reports.

Inequalities in health in Scotland: what are they and what can we do about them? (2007)
This paper outlines the key facts about socio-economic inequalities in health in Scotland.


Scotland’s Colleges: A baseline report (2007)
This report provides information about the provision of further and higher education in Scotland’s colleges, covering content, activity and participation.

Education and Young People
This Stonewall website provides information on homophobia in the education system

Data is available at Great Britain level.


Assessing local authorities' progress in meeting the accommodation needs of Gypsy and Traveller communities in Scotland: Final Report (2009)
This research report provides data about the extent to which local authorities in Scotland are meeting the accommodation needs of Scottish Gypsy Travellers.

Partner Abuse in Scotland (2007)
This report presents the main findings from the 2006 Scottish Crime & Victimisation Survey.


Labour Force Survey
This survey provides employment, unemployment and economic and inactivity information. Data is available at Scotland level.

Official Labour Market Statistics
This website provides information on claimant count and jobcentre vacancies. The data is available at council and small area level.

Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings
This survey provides information about the levels, distribution and make-up of earnings and hours paid for employees within industries, occupations and regions. Some data is available at Scotland level but most is available at UK level

Equality group inequalities in education, employment and earnings (2008)
This report presents a review of data on the relationship between education, employment, income, social class and group-based inequalities relating to gender, ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation.


UK poverty 2017
This report, which has been produced in-house by the JRF Analysis Unit for the first time, examines poverty rates in the UK, and looks at how figures have changed over the past two decades.

UK poverty data
The latest Joseph Rowntree Foundation analysis and data on UK poverty and related issues.

A review of poverty and ethnicity in Scotland (2011)
This report provides a review of literature and datasets on ethnicity and poverty in Scotland.

Households below average income
This report presents information on potential living standards in the United Kingdom as determined by disposable income in 2008/09, and changes in income patterns over time. Data is available at Scotland level.