Scotland: Households

Scotland's population size is 5,295,403

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  1. Learning disabilities
  2. Autism

In the past, people with autism who also had learning disabilities experienced significant periods of segregation, with large numbers living in long-stay institutions. Diagnostic services for autism were not as available as they are now, so people with autism who did not additionally have learning disabilities often lived in the community, not always with the support they needed. In 2000, the Scottish Government introduced policy - The same as you? - presenting a blueprint for service redesign and most notably the closure of long stay hospitals. This successfully drove forward change, and in 2016 the overwhelming majority of people with autism and learning disabilities live in private households, with health and social care support being provided either at home or in the community.

Scotland's Strategy for Autism has a focus of achieving equality and access to improved services for all people with autism. Given the historical context, and current strong focus on equality and access, it remains important to check trends in housing and accommodation. 

Type of private accommodation by population group

  All People People known to have autism
Total % Total %
Living in a home that is owned outright 1,253,193 24.1% 3,551 11.6%
Living in a home that has a mortgage or loan or shared ownership 2,153,767 41.4% 11,292 36.9%
Socially rented accommodation from council/local authority 608,152 11.7% 5,911 19.3%
Socially rented other 507,393 9.8% 5,825 19.0%
Privately rented accommodation 673,881 13.0% 4,037 13.2%
Total 5,196,386 100.0% 30,616 100.0%

Households

People known to have autism living in private accommodation

3,551

living in a home that is owned outright


11,292

living in a home that has a mortgage or loan or shared ownership


5,911

socially rented accommodation from council/local authority


5,825

socially rented other


4,037

privately rented accommodation


Type of residence by population group

  All People People known to have autism
Total % Total %
Private households 5,196,386 98.1% 30,616 96.5%
Communal establishments 99,017 1.9% 1,096 3.5%
Total 5,295,403 100.0% 31,712 100.0%

Type of residence

Type of residence by population group

Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation

  All People People known to have autism
Total % Total %
Most deprived area 1,026,869 19.4% 7,969 25.1%
Deprived area 1,037,028 19.6% 6,715 21.2%
Average area 1,075,243 20.3% 6,324 19.9%
Affluent area 1,093,818 20.7% 5,770 18.2%
Most affluent area 1,062,445 20.1% 4,934 15.6%
Total 5,295,403 100.0% 31,712 100.0%

Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation

Urban/rural classification

  All People People known to have autism
Total % Total %
Urban area 3,685,415 69.9% 22,293 70.3%
Small town 662,930 12.5% 3,923 12.4%
Rural area 947,058 17.9% 5,496 17.3%
Total 5,295,403 100.0% 31,712 100.0%

Urban/rural classification

Summary information

38.3% of people known to have autism in private accommodation live in social rented accommodation, compared with 21.5% of all people


  • 3.5% of people known to have autism live in communal establishments, compared with 1.9% of all people


  • 88 (0.6%) of adults known to have autism living in communal establsihments were in hospital compared with 3,665 (0.1%) of all adults


  • 25.1% of people known to have autism live in most deprived areas of Scotland, compared with 19.4% of all people


  • 70.3% of people known to have autism live in urban areas of Scotland, compared with 69.9% of all people



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