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Scottish Health Survey

Fun run

The only annual national source of information on the health and factors relating to health of people living in Scotland.


The Scottish Health Survey gives us an accurate picture of health in Scotland.

The latest report is from 2017 and you can read the full report on the Scottish Government website.

It provides information about how healthy people are, what health services people use and examines the health and behaviour of different groups in society.

The data we collect also informs the Scottish Government National Performance Framework and feeds into nationwide health strategy.

Topics in the latest report  

  • general health, long-term conditions and cardiovascular disease
  • mental wellbeing
  • dental health and services
  • alcohol
  • smoking
  • diet
  • physical activity
  • obesity
  • gambling


The Scottish Health Survey was first conducted in 1995 and then again in 1998 and 2003 and has been carried out annually since 2008.

We use random probability sampling to select people to take part in the survey. This means that everyone in Scotland has an equal chance of being chosen and ensures that the results are representative of the Scottish population. We also make sure to ask people all over Scotland, including those living more rurally in the highlands and islands. In 2017, 3,697 adults and 1,603 children across Scotland took part in the survey.

Since 2008 there has been a core set of questions and topics that are included every year and a series of topics that are rotated and included biennially. Because we repeat many of the same questions over time, we are able to identify real changes in Scotland’s health and health behaviours. The questionnaire is published as part of the Technical Report which for the 2017 survey can be found here.

Related content 

England’s changing health since the 1990s - an online tool that allows users to interact with and explore trend data from the Health Survey for England