Population health information

Large group of people from different backgrounds

Describing and understanding the health of Scotland´s population and the factors that shape it is essential to improving health and reducing inequalities. It enables good design of actions, targeting of resources and assessment of the impact of programmes and policies.

Scottish Public Health Observatory (ScotPHO)

Led by ISD Scotland and NHS Health Scotland, the ScotPHO website brings together information and statistical data on public health from key national organisations. It also has downloadable copies of all ScotPHO publications.

Mental health indicators

Details of ongoing work to establish a core set of national mental health indicators that can be used to measure changes in the mental health and well-being of Scotland´s population.

Survey data

NHS Health Scotland currently funds two national surveys:

Find information on these and other surveys particularly relevant to Scottish health on ScotPHO´s survey pages (external link).

The health of places

Community Health and Well-being Profiles for Scotland (2010) (external link) are available on ScotPHO.

Scotland and European Health for All (HfA) Database 2009 (external link).

Trends in mortality in Scotland and other parts of post-industrial Europe report (2008) (external link) is published by Glasgow Centre for Population Health.


Download the How much are people in Scotland really drinking? from the ScotPHO website report (external link).

Reworked data from the Scottish Health Survey 2003: Revised Alcohol Consumption Estimates (2008).


Briefing on tobacco epidemiology in Scotland describes the size of the problem, trends over time, impact on population sub-groups and what might be done to tackle the issue.

Download the Tobacco Atlas of local smoking prevalence from ScotPHO.

Index of Sustainable Economic Well-being

The Index of Sustainable Economic Well-being provides more comprehensive measures of social progress. This report gives one such measure for Scotland. The New Economics Foundation (nef) had created an index of sustainable economic wellbeing for the UK which appeared to have advantages over GDP as a measure of real economic progress. Health Scotland’s Public Health Observatory Division therefore commissioned them to create such an index for Scotland.

Reviewed 15/07/2014

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