NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Aberdeenshire leads Bank of Scotland Quality of Life list

Snow near Inverurie
Image caption The Aberdeenshire area has come top before

Aberdeenshire has the best quality of life in Scotland, according to a new Bank of Scotland survey.

East Dunbartonshire was placed second, ahead of the Shetland Islands, East Renfrewshire and then the Orkney Islands in fifth.

It is based on health and life expectancy, employment, school performance and climate.

It is the fourth time in seven years that Aberdeenshire has topped the survey.

Residents tended to be fit and well - with 93.3% reporting good health - and there was a higher than average life expectancy of 78.2 years.

The employment rate was said to be 79%.

Shetland had the highest employment rate - 81.3% - followed by Orkney (80.2%) and the Highlands at 80%.

Aberdeenshire was also faced with less rainfall per year and slightly more weekly sunshine hours than the Scottish average.

However, house prices in Aberdeenshire were 5.7 times the average annual local income, higher than the Scotland average of 4.5.

'Consistently highly'

Nitesh Patel, an economist for the Bank of Scotland, said: "Taking a wide range of indicators into account, residents in Aberdeenshire enjoy the best quality of life in Scotland - the fourth time in seven years it has taken this accolade.

"While not being the leading district across all measures, Aberdeenshire comes out on top because it scores consistently highly across nearly all indicators.

"In particular, Aberdeenshire residents typically enjoy good health, long life expectancy, high employment, low crime, and high quality schooling.

"On the downside, house prices are relatively high compared to local incomes."

The provost of Aberdeenshire, Jill Webster, said: "It is fantastic to see that Aberdeenshire has been recognised as having the best quality of life in Scotland, for the fourth time in seven years.

"From our majestic mountains to stunning coastlines, Aberdeenshire has a lot to offer as Scotland's hidden gem in terms of outdoor activities and opportunities.

"Aside from providing an extraordinary backdrop, this survey demonstrates that in Aberdeenshire our residents benefit from high rates of employment, first-rate education and good levels of health and fitness."

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