Our latest Understanding Scotland: Economy report continues to shine a light on people’s attitudes to the economy and their concerns about the cost of living. Understanding Scotland Economy Tracker is produced in partnership with the David Hume Institute.


This edition of Understanding Scotland brings you insights from over 2,200 members of the adult (16+) Scottish public on the most important aspects of our society and economy.

Amidst economic uncertainties, the latest wave of Understanding Scotland reveals nuanced attitudes among Scots. A significant number believe Scotland is heading in the wrong direction, with the proportion of those believing it is on the right track at a record low.

Survey fieldwork coincided with significant political changes: First Minister Humza Yousaf resigned, after ending the Bute House Agreement, and now First Minister John Swinney had announced his bid for the role. Since then, a UK Parliament General Election has been announced for 4 July.

As voters prepare to go to the polls, healthcare and the cost of living remain top priorities, among Scots. These concerns will significantly influence political party platforms ahead of the election.

The latest data highlights ongoing challenges in income adequacy and financial stability, with a slight decline in satisfaction levels since late 2023. Many Scots express discontent with their income and ability to cover living costs.

Despite incremental improvements, apprehensions persist over general economic conditions, perceived as worse than the previous year. However, there are signs of cautious optimism, with a modest increase in those viewing their personal finances more favourably.

This wave explored financial wellbeing, revealing the profound impact of financial strain on overall wellbeing. Over half of Scots report deteriorated financial health compared to the previous year, impacting mental and physical health, relationships, and work effectiveness. This underscores the interconnectedness of financial wellbeing and broader societal welfare.