Bank of Scotland

Residents of Aberdeenshire have the best quality of life in Scotland

22 December 2012

For the fourth time in seven years, residents of Aberdeenshire have the best quality of life in Scotland, according to the annual Bank of Scotland Quality of Life Survey.

The Bank of Scotland Quality of Life Survey has placed Aberdeenshire in the top spot based on residents' health and life expectancy, employment, school performance and climate.

Why Aberdeenshire is a great place to live:

  • Residents tend to be fit and well – 93.3% reporting good health.
  • There is a higher than average life expectancy (78.2 years).
  • The employment rate is high, at 79%, with many residents enjoying high full-time weekly average earnings of £661- 13% above the Scotland average of £585.
  • The level of school qualifications is above the Scotland average - 83% achieve five or more SCQF level 4 awards compared to the Scotland average of 79%.
  • Residents also enjoy a relatively good climate - less rainfall per year (999 mm against the Scotland average of 1,289 mm) and slightly more weekly sunshine hours (25.5 hours against the Scotland average of 24.9)
  • However, there is a cost associated with a high quality of life - house prices in Aberdeenshire are 5.7 times the average annual local income, significantly higher than the Scotland average of 4.5.

Taking second place is East Dunbartonshire, where full time gross weekly earnings are significantly above the Scotland average at £692 and the employment rate (74%) is also above the Scotland average (71%).

Similarly, 92% of East Dunbartonshire residents enjoy good or fairly good health and average life expectancy is 79 years. The proportion of school pupils achieving five or more SCQF level 4 awards is the highest in Scotland, at 92%. Residents of East Dunbartonshire have some of the largest houses in Scotland with an average of 4.9 habitable rooms and 92% of households have a good level of broadband accessi, compared to the Scotland average of 81%. However, at 4.8 times income the average house prices to earnings ratio is above the Scotland average of 4.5, although it is significantly lower than in Aberdeenshire.

The Shetland Islands, last year’s winner, is third followed by East Renfrewshire. The Shetlands score highly on employment rate, low levels of crime as well as low population density and small average class room size. Whist East Renfrewshire performs very well on average weekly earnings, number of rooms, access to fast broadband, as well as residents reporting themselves in good health and with long life expectancy.

Nitesh Patel, economist at Bank of Scotland, commented:
"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."

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