Scotland: Family

Scotland's population size is 5,295,403

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  1. Learning disabilities
  2. Autism

Family is important for the development and wellbeing of people with learning disabilities and people with autism. Social support from loved ones provides a sense of security and belonging. Social relationships, including close family ties, are important to people. Relationships are thought to protect wellbeing through companionship, emotional support, and love.

The Scottish Strategy for Autism has a focus of improving quality of life for all people with autism. To achieve this, it is essential that we build our understanding of family and social environments people with autism live in.

Family: all people in private households

All people
Age Female Male Total
In a family without children 620,320 622,881 1,243,201
In a family with children 1,048,635 1,112,180 2,160,815
In a single parent family 449,853 269,683 719,536
Not in a family 601,929 538,210 1,140,139
Total 2,720,737 2,542,954 5,263,691
People known to have autism
Female Male Total
292 40.0% 505 21.0% 797 25.0%
3,428 47.5% 12,624 51.5% 16,052 50.6%
2,048 28.4% 7,330 29.9% 9,378 29.6%
1,454 20.1% 4,031 16.5% 5,485 17.3%
7,222 100.0% 24,490 100.0% 31,712 100.0%
People known to have autism
Age Female Male Total
In a family without children 292 40.0% 505 21.0% 797 25.0%
In a family with children 3,428 47.5% 12,624 51.5% 16,052 50.6%
In a single parent family 2,048 28.4% 7,330 29.9% 9,378 29.6%
Not in a family 1,454 20.1% 4,031 16.5% 5,485 17.3%
Total 7,222 100.0% 24,490 100.0% 31,712 100.0%

Family type by age group

People known to have autism who live with families

797

in a family without children


16,052

in a family with children


9,378

in a single parent family


5,485

not in a family


99.2% (n=17,210) children and 93.3% (n=13,406) adults known to have autism live in a private household.

Married, civil partnership or cohabiting couples without children were classified as living in a family without children.

Married, civil partnership or cohabiting couples with children were classified as living in a family with children, including step families.

Families with one parent only were classified as single parent families.

People living alone or with people other than family members were classified as not living in a family.

Family composition by age group

People known to have autism who live with families

15,494

child of a couple


1,355

member of a couple


9,077

child of a single parent


301

single parent


Marital status: people aged 16 and over

  All People People known to have autism
Total % Total %
Single 359,307 82.0% 397 28.0%
Married or in a civil partnership 1,987,761 45.5% 905 63.0%
Divorced or formerly in a partnership 140,788 32.0% 166 12.0%
Separated 1,536,843 35.2% 12,649 88.1%
Widowed 340,009 78.0% 247 17.0%
Total 4,364,708 100.0% 14,364 100.0%

Marital status

People aged 16 and over known to have autism

12,649

single


905

married or in a civil partnership


397

divorced or formerly in a partnership


166

separated


247

widowed


Family carers without autism

  People without autism who are carers People without autism who aren't carers
  Total % Total %
Lives with at least 1 person known to have autism 25,964 5.3% 42,184 0.9%
Doesn't live with a person known to have autism 463,379 94.7% 4,634,243 99.1%
Total 463,379 100.0% 4,676,427 100.0%

 

Provision of unpaid care

Family carers without autism

25,964

lives with at least 1 person known to have autism


463,379

doesn't live with a person known to have autism


Summary information

97.0% of children and 65.4% of adults known to have autism live with family


  • 34.6% of people known to have autism are living with a single parent compared to 10.4% of people without autism


  • 88.1% of people aged 16 and over known to have autism are single compared to 35.2% of adults without autism


  • 5.3% of unpaid carers without autism live with at least 1 person known to have autism compared to 0.9% of people who aren't carers


  • 94.7% of unpaid carers without autism don't live with a person known to have autism compared to 99.1% of people who aren't carers



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