For those who like the country, the Orkney Islands are now the best place to live in the UK, according to new research.
The latest Bank of Scotland Rural Quality of Life Survey shows that the islands have the best quality of life of any rural area in Scotland for the fourth year running. Now, though, they also hold the same title for the whole of the UK, the first time Orkney has ranked top for Great Britain, soaring 45 places up the chart from last year’s rankings.
Some methodological changes in the ONS Personal Well-Being Survey – a component of the Index – and the inclusion of two new categories, namely the number of pubs and the availability of health clubs and leisure centres – helped Orkney to storm the league table. However, the fundamentals are clear to see, with an above-average employment rate of 87.6 per cent and the largest spending per pupil for primary and secondary school kids in the UK (£9,281 per pupil, compared to the British average of £4,622), not to mention the lowest levels of anxiety in Great Britain and 96.6 per cent being in “good or fairly good” health. Crime rates are the lowest in the UK too, with a burglary rate of just 2.3 per 10,000 people, compared to Scotland’s average of 27.2 and the UK’s average of 28.7.
The Shetland Isles are the only other Scottish LAD to appear in the top 20 for Great Britain as a whole, coming in 15th, while the Western Isles sit in 50th place.
Graham Blair, Mortgage Director at Bank of Scotland, says: “The Orkney Islands is a stunning part of Scotland with some beautiful scenery. Pair this with one of the lowest population densities and traffic levels in Scotland, as well as the lowest levels of anxiety and highest life satisfaction ratings, and it’s not surprising that the Orkneys offer a quality of life that is unmatched elsewhere in rural Britain.
“If it’s a rural life you are after, then nothing beats being up north on one of Scotland’s many islands.”
Fife ranked first for happiness in Scotland
9th September 2016
Fife is ranked first for happiness in Scotland, according to new research, with four in 10 Fifers saying they are “very happy”.
Fife is ranked first for happiness in Scotland, according to new research, with four in 10 Fifers saying they are “very happy” living in their community, which is almost double on last year’s 23 per cent. The amount of residents in Fife saying they were unhappy living in their community reduced to 7 per cent this year, from 13 per cent last year. A factor for this could be that they are the region focusing most on spending time with family and are also taking time to focus on pursuing hobbies and interests, as well as progress their career.
Fife’s rise saw the region leapfrog the Highlands, which was knocked down into second place. Fife’s happiness score is now 56.56 (up from 35.56 in 2015), just above the Highlands’ 50.56 and well above the national average of 40.43.
Dundonians are least happy living in their community, falling from a 2015 happiness score of 44.3 to 31.01 this year. Central is second least happy (33.23) followed by North East Scotland (33.85).
Overall, though, Scots are generally happier than they were last year. There has been a slight increase in the overall happiness score for the country, with women (43.09) happier than men (37.52).
As with last year’s findings, happiness increases with age, with there being quite a gap between the scores for 45-54 year olds and those 55 and over. There is also no change in the fact that 18-24 year olds are the least happy, with a score of 30.2.
Rachel Bright, Bank of Scotland’s Head of Customer Service says: “We published the results from our first Happiness Index just over a year ago, where the Highlands came out as Scotland’s happiest region. This year, Fife’s happiness score has increased over twenty points, putting them at the top of the Happiness Index and pushing the Highlands in to second place.”
Retiring in Scotland – the secret to happiness?
4th February 2016
Retiring in Scotland could be the secret to happiness, suggests new research.
Scotland’s Western Isles were ranked as the place with the happiest population by the Office for National Statistics, which asked people to rate happiness on a scale from 1 to 10 over a period of several years.
The research from the Office of National Statistics also found that it is people aged 60 to 79 who are the happiest so moving to the islands of Scotland to retire seems to be the best bet for a happy life.
Indeed, the country accounted for four of the happiest places in the UK, according to the ONS, with three of them islands: Orkney was the second, followed by the Highlands, Shetland and, on the other side of the border, England’s Cheshire.
Liverpool was dubbed the least happy place, according to the survey, despite the city’s recent regeneration schemes and, in 2008, being crowned a European Capital of Culture. London, known for its hustle and bustle lifestyle, accounted for two of the lowest ranked locations: Islington and Hackney.
Ratings of life satisfaction and happiness were at their lowest, on average, for those aged 45 to 59, but those aged 90 and over reported higher life satisfaction and happiness compared with people in their middle years, suggesting that the once you move into retirement, stress levels drop significantly.
“Evidence shows that people are having children later. Therefore another possible reason for lower scores for the middle age groups could result from the burden caused by having to care for both parents and children at the same time,” reads the report.
Looking for the maximum amount of happiness in life? The conclusion is simple: grow older and move to Scotland.Google+