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.
Aberdeenshire was deemed to have a great place to live with residents tending to be fit and well – 93.3% reporting good health.
There was a higher than average life expectancy of 78.2 years and 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.
Provost of Aberdeenshire, Councillor 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.”
Chief executive of Aberdeenshire Council Colin Mackenzie said: “We are delighted that once again the Bank of Scotland survey has found Aberdeenshire provides the best quality of life in Scotland.
“The survey measures areas such as employment levels, health, housing quality and education and to be consistently at the top of this survey is something everyone in Aberdeenshire should celebrate.
“Our vision as a council is to be the best council in Scotland and best area in Scotland. This demonstrates that we are on track to reach that goal and reinforces our belief that Aberdeenshire remains the best place to work and live in Scotland.”
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.”