Scotland: Health

Scotland's population size is 5,295,403

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  1. Learning disabilities
  2. Autism

People with autism experience health inequalities compared with other people, and may have inequalities in accessing health care and services. The most commonly experienced health conditions of people with autism differ from the rest of the population. The causes of these inequalities are complex and multiple, and we need a better understanding to improve this.

The Scottish Strategy for Autism has a focus of achieving equality and access to improved services for all people with autism. To achieve this, it is essential that we improve our understanding of the health, lifespan, health care and health inequalities of people with autism in Scotland.

Health status

All people
Health Female Male Total
Very good 1,401,965 51.4% 1,376,516 53.6% 2,778,481 52.5%
Good 814,949 29.9% 760,051 29.6% 1,575,000 29.7%
Fair 351,772 12.9% 293,109 11.4% 644,881 12.2%
Bad 121,574 4.5% 104,580 4.1% 226,154 4.3%
Very bad 37,699 1.4% 33,188 1.3% 70,887 1.3%
Total 2,727,959 100.0% 2,567,444 100.0% 5,295,403 100.0%
All people
Health Female Male Total
Very good 1,401,965 1,376,516 2,778,481
Good 814,949 760,051 1,575,000
Fair 351,772 293,109 644,881
Bad 121,574 104,580 226,154
Very bad 37,699 33,188 70,887
Total 2,727,959 2,567,444 5,295,403
People known to have autism
Health Female Male Total
Very good 2,171 30.1% 9,696 39.6% 11,867 37.4%
Good 2,417 33.5% 8,550 34.9% 10,967 34.6%
Fair 1,710 23.7% 4,542 18.5% 6,252 19.7%
Bad 605 8.4% 1,204 4.9% 1,809 5.7%
Very bad 319 4.4% 498 2.0% 817 2.6%
Total 7,222 100.0% 24,490 100.0% 31,712 100.0%
People known to have autism
Health Female Male Total
Very good 2,171 9,696 11,867
Good 2,417 8,550 10,967
Fair 1,710 4,542 6,252
Bad 605 1,204 1,809
Very bad 319 498 817
Total 7,222 24,490 31,712

Health status

People known to have autism rate their health as

11,867

very good


10,967

good


6,252

fair


1,809

bad


817

very bad


Health status

People known to have autism rate their health as

11,867

very good


10,967

good


6,252

fair


1,809

bad


817

very bad


Health status by age group

Other specific health conditions

Other specific health conditions (number)

People known to have autism report the following conditions

1,697

visual impairment


1,748

hearing impairment


5,709

learning disability


4,700

mental health condition


4,224

physical disability


6,857

other condition


Other specific health conditions (proportion)

Number of other conditions

Number of other conditions

Number of other conditions people known to have autism report (limited to small range of conditions collected in the census)

15,434

no condition


8,023

one condition


3,900

two conditions


4,355

three or more conditions


Number of other conditions

Health limitations

Health limitations

People known to have autism who say their day-to-day activities are limited due to health problems

13,283

limited a lot


10,660

limited a little


7,769

not limited


People known to have autism with good/very good health

Local Authority

Health Board

  1. Local Authority
  2. Health Board

Summary information

37.4% of people known to have autism rate their health as very good, compared with 52.5% of all people


  • Good/very good health ratings ranged from 65.3% to 80.7% for people known to have autism and from 77.7% to 80.7% for all people across local authorities


  • 14.8% of people known to have autism have additional mental health conditions compared with 4.3% of people without autism


  • Good/very good health ratings for people known to have autism were lowest in Glasgow (65.3%) and highest in Orkney (80.7%)


  • 18.0% of people known to have autism have learning disabilities compared with 0.4% of people without autism



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