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News: QoL: Scotland has a new leader

Fri, 19 Oct 07

Residents of Aberdeenshire have the best quality of life in Scotland, according to the Bank of Scotland...

In 2006 Aberdeenshire was the third top ranked area for the quality of life in Scotland. The next highest rated local authorities (LA) in 2007 in Scotland are East Dunbartonshire, the Orkney Islands and the Shetland Islands.

Performance in each local authority in Scotland and across Great Britain was scored across a range of indicators which influence the quality of life. These variables include employment, earnings, housing quality, weather, carbon emissions, crime, education performance and health.

Five of the ten LAs with the best quality of life in Scotland are in northern Scotland and four are in Scotland's central belt. Aberdeenshire has a high employment rate (81.4%) and average earnings are above the Scottish average (£549 per week). Crime rates are low, as are traffic levels.

Residents are healthy (93% in good or fairly good health) and life expectancy for newborns, at 77 years, is one of the highest rates in the country. Primary school class sizes are small, while high school results are some of the best in Scotland.

Quality of life impacts house prices

In six of the ten local authorities with the best quality of life in Scotland, house prices trade at a premium to the average Scottish house price. On average, this premium is £10,095, or 6%. In Aberdeenshire the average house price is £198,011, a premium of £33,914 (21%) to the average house price in the Scotland.

The four areas in the top ten for quality of life which trade at a discount to the Scottish average house price, offer the best value for money for homebuyers. These four LAs are Shetland Islands (discount of £36,365), Orkney Islands (-£17,868), Moray (-£14,331) and Angus (-£10,690).

Tim Crawford, Group Economist at Bank of Scotland, commented: “A strong long economy, along with good schools and a low crime rate has helped Aberdeenshire to become the area with the best quality of life in Scotland in 2007. However, living in Aberdeenshire comes at a price with house prices 21% above the Scottish average. "Moray, Angus and the Orkney and Shetland Islands are areas which have a high quality of life, but also have lower than average house prices, offering good value for money housing."

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