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Monday, 11 September, 2000, 17:08 GMT 18:08 UK
Majority of homes 'childless'
Child and Toy
Two thirds of all Scottish households are childless
Less than a third of Scots live in families with children and a fifth of those who do are single parents, according to a government study.

By contrast, 30% of those questioned in the Scottish Household Survey live by themselves, whilst an additional 34% of households are childless couples.

The number of households with children was just 28%.

Glasgow University sociologist, Ruth Madigan said: "The figure is unsurprising, given that many people are living longer and so more old people are staying at home."

"In addition, there is evidence that young women are setting up home by themselves sooner and in greater number than before."

The multi-purpose survey has been produced for the Scottish Executive by opinion pollsters, System Three and aims to provide an accurate and up-to date snapshot of Scottish life in key areas like housing, transport and social inclusion.

This information will help us to develop new policies. It is relevant to everybody who is committed to improving contemporary Scottish life

Wendy Alexander, Communities Minister

Communities Minister Wendy Alexander said the survey will provide the executive with the statistics it needs to improve Scottish life.

She said: "Until quite recently, reliable and up-to-date information was in short supply.

"This information will help us to develop new policies.

"It is relevant to everybody who is committed to improving contemporary Scottish life."

The survey has yet to show long-term trends in Scottish society because it has only been in operation for a year.

But the Scottish Executive considered that it has already thrown up important statistics.

Environmental concern

For example, it showed that only 18% of women look after home or family, and this figure peaked at 23% between the ages of 25 and 34.

Other key statistics have revealed that Scotland has a poor record of environmental concern - with 47% of us never recycling and only a third doing so on a regular basis.

Children lived in 28% of households
Two thirds go to work in a car whilst only 3% go by rail and 11% by bus.

Three per cent had been burgled during the year and 4% of those with cars had had them stolen.

But most people are happy with where they live - nine out of 10 rate their neighbourhood as 'very' or 'fairly' good.

Sixty one per cent of Scots own their own home or have a mortgage with 37% renting.

The survey is based on interviews conducted from February to December last year.

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See also:

09 Sep 00 | Scotland
Child health cash pledge
06 Sep 00 | Scotland
Obesity threat to child health
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