Understanding Scotland - Society

Primary Author or Creator:
Diffley Partnership
Alternative Published Date
October 2021
Type of Resource:
survey report
Length (Pages, words, minutes etc...)
Fast Facts

A look at Scottish society as we emerge from the pandemic, and addresses the fundamental questions: Is Scotland on the right track? Where do we want to go as a country? And who do we trust to help us get there?

More details

TACKLING POVERTY & INEQUALITY IS A TOP CONCERN FOR THE SCOTTISH PUBLIC A third of respondents (34%) put tackling poverty and inequality in the top three issues facing Scotland, at least 8 percentage points ahead of all other issues,

THE SCOTTISH POPULATION WANT A FAIR RECOVERY Coupled with the economy being the second most important issue of concern, there is an evident appetite from the Scottish population for a fair recovery from the pandemic that tackles socioeconomic disparities.  The less well-off were more likely to prioritise poverty and inequality, the cost of living and inflation, and mental health and wellbeing, with the economy coming in fourth place. 

THE ECONOMY TOPS THE CONCERNS OF THE BETTER OFF, WHILE THE LESS PRIVILEGED ARE FOCUSED ON DAY-TO-DAY PRACTICALITIES Recent news stories appear to have cut through, with the cost of living, mental health and wellbeing, and the environment all featuring in the public’s top concerns.


THE NHS IS Scotland's MOST TRUSTED INSTITUTION With a fifth of people saying that they trust it 'entirely', the NHS is Scotland's most trusted group, followed by other people in Scotland, and universities.

CONVERSELY, THE MEDIA ARE AMONG THE LEAST TRUSTED With 19% of people reporting that they do not trust the print media 'at all', and 14% saying the same of the broadcast media, there is evidently little faith in the journalistic profession.

FAITH IN POLITICS IS LOW With a fifth of people saying that they do not trust the Government or the political system 'at all', faith in politics is low, and especially so among the less well off.

TRUST IS CONSISTENTLY LOWER AMONG LOWER SOCIAL GRADES On all but one item, trust in given institutions was lower among the less well off. This was especially pronounced with regards to Government and the political system, as well as the broadcast and press media.

Scotland IS SPLIT DOWN THE MIDDLE ON ITS DIRECTION OF TRAVEL 43% of the Scottish population believe that Scotland is heading in the right direction, while the same proportion believe that it is heading in the wrong direction, with the remaining 14% undecided.