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Scottish Household Survey Nic Krzyzanowski SHS Project Manager. ScotPHO Training Course 31 March 2011. Overview. Background Why What How Problems. Background to the (current) SHS. Sample of general population in private residences in Scotland

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Scottish Household Survey Nic Krzyzanowski SHS Project Manager

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Scottish Household SurveyNic KrzyzanowskiSHS Project Manager

ScotPHO Training Course

31 March 2011


  • Background

  • Why

  • What

  • How

  • Problems

Background to the (current) SHS

  • Sample of general population in private residences in Scotland

  • Priority on communities, local government and transport

  • Continuous survey approx 14,000 households

    • Using face-to-face CAPI, approx 45 minutes

  • Consortium of Ipsos MORI and TNS-BMRB

    • Fieldwork and data processing

Why the survey was commissioned

  • Commissioned 1998, survey started 1999

  • Devolution preparations identified need to improve information sources in Scotland

    • Information needs expected to increase

  • Existing information sources limited:

    • Too infrequent

    • Too small a sample size

    • Insufficiently detailed

Why we have aims and objectives

  • Policy and parliament

  • Disaggregation of sub-groups

  • Cross-analysis

  • National trends

  • Follow-up surveys

  • To provide household and individual information particularly to support the work of the Scottish Government’s transport, communities and local government policy areas and the work of the Scottish Parliament

  • To permit disaggregation of information both geographically and in terms of population sub-groups (such as families with children or the elderly)

  • To allow the relationships between social variables within households to be examined. This will support cross-analysis of a range of issues

  • To allow early detection of national trends

  • To allow detailed follow-up surveys of sub-samples from the main survey sample, if required

Why the data is needed

  • Designed to provide reliable and up-to-date information:

    • Composition, characteristics, attitudes and behaviour of Scottish households and individuals

  • Supporting National Performance Framework and wider evidence-based policy making

    • Five (of the 45) National Indicators

    • Neighbourhood rating, quality of public services delivered, smoking prevalence rates, journeys to work by public or active transport and traffic congestion

    • Around one third of the Local Outcome Indicators

Why it’s used in secondary analysis

  • Special dataset requests

    • Glasgow-Edinburgh Collaboration Initiative Economic Linkage

    • Relationship between the built environment and physical activity in UK neighbourhoods

    • Glasgow Housing Association Investment Programme: Impact Assessment

    • Healthy life expectancy

    • Modelling cultural participation and inactivity

  • Follow-up survey requests

    • Home appreciation loans

    • Bus perceptions

    • Parenting in Scotland

What geographies do we cover

  • No geographical exclusions, and designed to be

    • Nationally representative every quarter

    • Representative for larger LA’s every year

    • All LA’s (regardless of size) over a two-year period

  • Geographies available for analysis

    • National

    • Local Authority

    • Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation

    • Urban Rural Classification

What sample design do we use

  • Equivalent to a SRS of 500 in each LA area

  • First stage disproportionate stratification by LA

  • Within each LA, second stage stratification by SG Urban Rural Classification into ‘Urban’ stratum and ‘Rural’ stratum

    • Unclustered sampling in urban with addresses sorted by SIMD

    • Clustered sampling in rural with datazones used as PSU selected with probability proportionate to size

What things we do ask

  • Two part interview

    • Household (Highest Income Householder)

    • Adult (Randomly selected adult)

  • Travel Diary

  • Culture and Sport module

What topics are covered


  • Household Composition

  • Accommodation

  • Sharing Accommodation

  • Internet Access

  • Recycling

  • Driving and Transport

  • Young People in the Household

  • Health and Disability

  • Employment of Highest Income Householder

  • Household Income

  • Financial Services, Savings and Housing Costs

  • Mortgage and Rent

  • Household Finances

Random Adult

  • Random Adult Demographics

  • Accommodation

  • Neighbourhoods and Community Safety

  • Education and Training

  • Travel and Transport

  • Travel Diary

  • More Travel!

  • Convenience of Local Services

  • Culture and Sport

  • Volunteering

  • Health and Disability

  • Random Adult Employment

  • Random Adult Income

What health issues are covered

What health issues are covered

What health issues are covered

What health issues are covered

What health issues are covered

What health issues are covered

What health issues are covered

What health issues are covered

What health issues are covered

What health issues are covered

How the data is used to inform policy

  • SHS Lead Analysts are the key stakeholders in managing policy requirements of the SHS

    • Play the pivotal role in shaping the priorities of the survey

    • Ensuring the questions asked meet their relevant policy needs

    • Ensure subsequent analysis is best targeted

How we store the data

  • Data held in SAS format

    • Household | Person | Random Child | Random Adult | Travel Diary

  • SHS “libraries” available on SAS servers

    • Data administration in DOSPTN

    • Access permissions agreed by SHS Data Manager and ISIS

  • Also make SPSS data available on request

    • Single flat file so different structure and requirements

How we describe the metadata

  • Operational and procedural metadata available via technical reports

  • Definitional metadata is key though

    • Topic lists and questionnaires

    • Variable lookup system

How we publish “data”

  • Dissemination strategy

    • Increase identity, awareness and use of the SHS

  • Particular focus on

    • Publications

    • Access to data

    • Website

How users can get data

  • Published reports

  • Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics

  • Economic and Social Data Service website (UK Data Archive)

    • Two-year sweep data up to 2007/2008

  • SHS Lite (CD-ROM from SHS Project Team)

    • Two-year sweep data up to 2007/2008

    • Simplified dataset, summarised complex variables

  • Request analysis by SHS Project Team

How to get LA results

Problems or issues

  • Changes in content

  • Changes in design

  • Survey harmonisation / growth of other surveys

  • Changing political landscape

  • Fiscal pressures


Environment &

Climate change

Mobility &



& Finance data


Household safety

Fire safety




Confidence in

justice system

Analysis of




Internet access


Curriculum for








Problems: Topic demands

  • Demand for content > space available

Problems: Other demands

  • Strategic governance needs to be improved

  • Would like sub-LA and other geographies

  • Shows broad trends but offers little explanation

  • Timeliness and representativeness

  • Need to explore alternative survey mechanisms

  • Engage better with stakeholders

  • SHS 2012-2015



SHS Project Team

  • 0131 244 0824



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