Scottish islands survey seeks views on island life

The largest survey of island life in Scotland has been launched to help review the Scottish Government’s National Islands Plan.   

The Scottish Islands Survey 2023, being run by The James Hutton Institute, is asking 20,000 people across Scotland’s inhabited islands for their views on topics from transport, housing, the economy and cost-of-living crisis to the environment, healthcare and education.

It is the second time the island survey has been run. The results will be used by the Scottish Government to review and help measure progress towards goals set out in its National Islands Plan, which was launched in 2019 to improve quality of life in island communities.

“Scotland’s islands make a huge contribution to the nation’s cultural and economic identity,” says Dr Ruth Wilson, a social scientist based at the Hutton in Aberdeen who is leading the survey. “To improve quality of life in island communities, it’s important we hear from people living in the islands.

“The first Scottish Islands Survey, run 2020, really showed the diversity of our islands and while most rated their local environment very highly, there were still challenges around housing, jobs, transport, fuel poverty, and speed and reliability of digital connections.”

The survey has been sent to 20,000 adult residents across Scotland’s inhabited islands. Islanders are encouraged to fill it in, online or on paper via a pre-paid envelope, before the end of the year.

A young islander working with the survey team has made a film about the survey:

Press and media enquiries: 

Elaine Maslin, Media Officer, The James Hutton Institute, tel: +44 (0)1224 395076 or +44 (0)7977 805808

Or contact the Scottish Government islands team: