Menu
 

You are on the Natcen site

Click here for Scotcen

natcen map

You are on the Natcen site

Click here for Scotcen

natcen map

Scottish Social Attitudes

Man in kilt

The Scottish Social Attitudes (SSA) survey uses a random sample of all those aged 16 and over who live across the whole of Scotland, so it provides a robust and reliable picture of public attitudes in Scotland.

Scottish Social Attitudes survey 2021/22

SSA has been a face-to-face survey since 1999 but last year (2021/22), due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the survey was conducted as two separate surveys; one on the telephone and one primarily on the web using the ScotCen Panel. This report, therefore, focusses solely on results from this year’s survey rather than examining trends over time.

The core survey was conducted using the telephone and focuses on attitudes to government, the economy and public services.

Attitudes to Government, the economy, the health service and political engagement in Scotland

This report presents findings from the 2021/22 Scottish Social Attitudes Survey (SSA), conducted between October 2021 and March 2022. It focuses on attitudes to government, the economy and public services and seeks to address the following key questions:

  • What attitudes towards government do people in Scotland currently hold, and how does this differ between different subgroups?
  • Given the large-scale societal impact of the pandemic, what are people’s current attitudes towards the health service, economy and standard of living in Scotland?
  • What are the levels of both political engagement and social trust in Scotland today?

Key findings from this year’s Attitudes to Government, the economy, the health service and political engagement in Scotland report are:

Attitudes to Government and the Scottish Parliament:

  • Two-thirds (66%) of people in Scotland trust the Scottish Government to work in Scotland’s best interests, compared with 22% who trust the UK Government to do so.
  • Three-quarters (75%) of people in Scotland thought the Scottish Government ought to have the most influence over the way Scotland is run, compared with 14% who thought the UK Government should.

Views on level of tax and government priorities:

  • The majority of people in Scotland (64%) thought the level of taxation and spending on health, education and social benefits should be increased, 32% thought the level of taxation and spending should stay the same and 3% thought it should decrease.
  • Most people (68%) agreed that income should be redistributed from the better-off to those who are less well-off, while 16% disagreed.

Views on the National Health Service in Scotland:

  • Over half (54%) of people in Scotland were satisfied with the way the NHS is run, compared with 28% who said they were dissatisfied.
  • Despite over half of people saying they were satisfied with the way the NHS is run, the majority of people (66%) thought the standard of the health service had fallen in the previous 12 months, only 6% thought the standard had increased and 23% thought it had stayed the same.

Views on the economy and standard of living in Scotland:

  • More people thought that the Scottish economy had got weaker in the previous 12 months (66%) than thought it had got stronger (7%), and 21% thought it had stayed the same.
  • More people thought that the standard of living had fallen (63%) than thought it had increased (8%), while 27% thought it had stayed the same.

Political engagement and levels of social trust:

  • A large majority thought it important to vote in Scottish Parliament elections (98%), local council elections (95%) and UK Government elections (92%).
  • The majority of people in Scotland (61%) thought that, in general, ‘most people can be trusted’, while 37% of people thought that ‘you can’t be too careful in dealing with people’.

Funding

Scottish Social Attitudes is run by ScotCen Social Research and this module has been funded by the Scottish Government since 2004.

Methodology

Every year, we ask 1,200-1,500 people to take part in Scottish Social Attitudes on the basis of random probability sampling.

This technique ensures that everyone has an equal chance of being picked to take part, so the results are representative of the Scottish population.

Data are then weighted in order to correct for non-response bias and differential selection probabilities to encure that they reflect the age-sex profile of the Scottish population.

Latest reports

Findings from 2021/22

Public attitudes towards people with problem drug use

Attitudes to Government, the economy, the health service and political engagement in Scotland

Findings from 2021

Attitudes towards Gaelic 

Findings from 2019

Attitudes to violence against women in Scotland

Attitudes to government and political engagement

Intra-household distribution of resources 

Previous findings

Findings from 2017

Attitudes to dementia

Attitudes to government, the economy and public services

Technical report

Findings from 2016

From Indyref 1 to Indyref 2: The State of Nationalism in Scotland

Scottish Social Attitudes 2016 - Attitudes to government and political engagement

Scottish Social Attitudes Technical Report 

Findings from 2015 

Attitudes to discrimination and positive action 

Attitudes to social networks, civic participation and co-production

Attitudes to the role of the Scottish Government presented in data tables.

A report on attitudes to Government, the National Health Service, the economy and standard of living 

2014 findings  

Attitudes to violence against women in Scotland 

Public Attitudes to Dementia (download separate executive summary)

Public Attitudes to Sectarianism in Scotland

Has the Referendum Campaign Made a Difference? 

Minding the gap – women’s views of independence in 2014 

2013 findings

Attitudes to Mental Health in Scotland (download seperate executive summary)

Core module – attitudes to government, the economy, health and social care services, and social capital in Scotland

Attitudes towards alcohol in Scotland

Who will turn up and who will stay at home?

So where does Scotland stand on more devolution? 

The score at half time: Trends in support for Independence  

The Undecideds: Don't care or deeply conflicted?

Is it really all about economics? Issues of nationhood and welfare

To view the data for 2013 please visit WhatScotlandThinks.

You can view earlier reports by year and by topic by following the links below. 

Funding

Scottish Social Attitudes is run by ScotCen Social Research and is made possible by the funding we receive from a variety of charitable and governmental sources each year.

Methodology

Every year, we ask 1,200-1,500 people to take part in Scottish Social Attitudes on the basis of random probability sampling.

This technique ensures that everyone has an equal chance of being picked to take part, so the results are representative of the Scottish population.

And because we repeat many of the same questions over time, we're able to identify real changes in people's social attitudes.