Orkney revealed as best place to live in Scotland



The historic islands of Orkney have been crowned Scotland’s best place to live for the eighth year in a row, according to the Bank of Scotland Quality of Life survey 2020.

Best known for their beautiful coastline and spectacular landscapes about 20 miles north of the mainland, Orkney maintained its position for the eighth consecutive year thanks to high employment levels, low crime rate, strong exam results, smaller primary class sizes and good health and happiness scores.

The latest ONS figures indicate adults living in Orkney are amongst the happiest, most satisfied and content in the UK, with low anxiety rates. Orkney is one of the most affordable places to live for first time buyers with an average house price of £131,913, standing at 3.8 times the average annual pre-tax local income, compared to the national average of 4.3.

Orkney has the highest employment rate with nearly nine in ten (88%) 16-64 year-olds in work and weekly average earnings of £665. Residents enjoy one of the lowest crime rates in the country, with 6.9 crimes per 10,000 population, compared to a national average of 52.6 and residents feel fit and well with more than nine in 10 (97%) reporting good or fairly good health.

As a result of an updated survey methodology including a number of new metrics, Glasgow’s East Renfrewshire has moved into the prestigious second place (up from 13th), with Shetland down one place to third and East Dunbartonshire fourth (up six places), and the City of Edinburgh fifth (up 15 places). The top five Scottish locations also appear in the UK top 100.

The annual research takes into consideration 26 different factors that homebuyers consider when choosing a place to live. For the first time this year, the research also takes into account how important these factors are to people looking to find the perfect property, with affordability, safety and access to parks and green spaces all proving most essential according to UK adults.

Tara Foley, managing director, Bank of Scotland, said: “Orcadians have long celebrated the Islands’ status as one of the most desirable places to live in Scotland as well as the UK – with high employment, low crime rates, smaller class sizes and more affordable housing.

“The Scottish locations that make it into the UK’s top 100 showcase the diversity of Scotland from the dramatic beauty of its remote islands to the impressive architecture of its historical cities and easy access to green vast space and rich country parks from the surrounding suburbs.”

At a UK level, East Hertfordshire in the East of England took the top spot overall this year, followed by Fareham and Hart, both in South East.

2020 Bank of Scotland Quality of Life Rankings – Scottish Local Authority Districts

Local Authority

2020 Rankings Scotland

2019 Rankings Scotland

Orkney Islands

1

1

East Renfrewshire

2

13

Shetland Islands

3

2

East Dunbartonshire

4

10

Edinburgh, City of

5

20

Aberdeenshire

6

6

Western Isles

7

3

Aberdeen City

8

16

Perth & Kinross

9

8

East Lothian

10

14

Scottish Borders

11

9

Moray

12

15

Midlothian

13

18

Renfrewshire

14

29

Highland

15

12

Fife

16

19

West Lothian

17

21

Angus

18

7

South Ayrshire

19

11

South Lanarkshire

20

26

Dumfries & Galloway

21

5

Clackmannanshire

22

23

Stirling

23

17

Falkirk

24

22

Argyll & Bute

25

4

East Ayrshire

26

24

West Dunbartonshire

27

28

North Lanarkshire

28

30

Dundee City

29

27

North Ayrshire

30

25

Inverclyde

31

31

Glasgow City

32

32

Source: Bank of Scotland January 2020



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