Isles named as top place to live for eight year in a row

Orkney has been named Scotland’s best place to live for the eighth year in a row by the Bank of Scotland Quality of Life survey 2020.

High employment levels, a low crime rate, strong exam results, smaller primary class sizes and good health and happiness scores put the islands top. East Renfrewshire moved into second place – up from 13th – with Shetland down one place to third, East Dunbartonshire fourth and Edinburgh up 15 places to fifth.

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

The top five Scottish locations also appear in the UK top 100.

Tara Foley, managing director of the bank, 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.”

The annual research takes into consideration 26 factors that homebuyers consider when choosing a place to live.

For the first time, the research also this year took into account how important these factors are to people looking to find the perfect property, which contributed to East Renfrewshire’s surge. Affordability, safety and access to parks and green spaces proved most essential, according to UK adults.


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