NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Orkney and Shetland are best places to raise children, says survey

Northern Lights in Orkney Image copyright Gill Merriman
Image caption Orkney - a good place to see the Northern Lights - came top for the second year running

Orkney and Shetland have been named the best two places to raise children in Britain for the second year running, according to an annual survey.

The Western Isles again came third in the 2016 Bank of Scotland Children's Quality of Life Survey.

Orkney's winning formula included a high average school spend per pupil, low class sizes and little traffic.

Across Scotland, Highland ranked fourth, with Perth and Kinross coming fifth.

The full Scottish top 10 is:

  • Orkney Islands
  • Shetland Islands
  • Western Isles
  • Highland
  • Perth and Kinross
  • Argyll and Bute
  • Aberdeenshire
  • Dumfries and Galloway
  • Angus
  • Stirling

The average school spend was £9,281 per pupil for Orkney.

This was more than double the British average.

Orkney had one of the lowest population densities in Britain, with 22 people per square km.

This was against the national average of 276.

Shetland was said to have the highest employment rate in Scotland with 89.1%.

Other leading indicators:

  • Highest average number of rooms in house - Western Isles
  • Lowest secondary school pupil-teacher ratio - Western Isles
  • Highest personal wellbeing (average of life satisfaction, happiness and anxiety) - Western Isles

Bank of Scotland economist Nitesh Patel said: "The north of Scotland has always done well when we've done this research.

"So it's no surprise that Orkney, the Shetland Islands and Western Isles remain the top three in the 2016 Bank of Scotland Children's Quality of Life Index, across both Scotland and Great Britain.

"Children in these areas benefit from low primary school class sizes, low pupil-to-teacher ratios in secondary schools, excellent exam results and some of the highest school spend per pupil."

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