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Highlands and north-east among ‘best places to live’ in Scotland

Scottish Highlands
Scottish Highlands

Aberdeen has come out tops in a list of the happiest and “most vibrant” places to live in Scotland.

The latest Vibrant Economy Index by accountancy firm Grant Thornton measured stats including employment, school attainment, life expectancy and even voter turnout to find out where in the country is the best to live.

While Edinburgh was the top performer, Aberdeen followed closely behind in second place and was described as a “standout” in terms of its economic importance.

Aberdeenshire placed fourth while the Highland council area was sixth.

Report author Karl Eddy said that simply plotting out figures about the economy is not enough to paint a true picture of the best places to live.

“If the UK is to have a vibrant economy, it needs places where people and businesses can flourish,” he said.

“The Vibrant Economy Index seeks to define and measure the components that create these successful areas.

“In doing so, it provides a basis from which to drive positive change and an objective accountability for each area.

“It highlights places that are doing well and potential lessons that can be shared.”

One of the least surprising results in the report is that the Highlands is host to some of the friendliest communities in Scotland.

In his report, Mr Eddy added: “This region is home to the three highest ranking places in the country: Orkney, Shetland and Argyll & Bute.

“Highland and Western Isles are not far behind, ranking six and seven respectively.

“These rankings reflect the strong sense of place and community identity that exists in much of the region.”

Highlands and Islands MSP, Maree Todd said: “This is really excellent news for the region that I represent.

“I may be a little bit biased, but I’ve always thought the Highlands are a fantastic place to live and work – it’s great to see this study confirm that.

“A healthy, happy and inclusive community, as well as a vibrant economy is beneficial to everybody, and this report is a welcome endorsement of the Scottish Government’s efforts to boost the local economy, create opportunities and build a positive future for all.”

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