There are so many healthy elements to living in Scotland, including lower pollution than many other parts of the UK, and ample countryside with a low population density. One unhealthy element is the Scottish diet, which is ironic since Scotland produces an impressive array of homegrown healthy foods.
Where are the healthiest places in Scotland to live? Six areas of Scotland are highlighted as the healthiest places to live. These six areas have been selected based on numerous factors including happiness, life expectancy, unemployment, and pollution. Five of the listed places are rural areas, the only urban area to make the listing is East Dunbartonshire.
Shetland is a collection of more than a hundred islands, of which just fifteen are inhabited. The islands are located 110 miles north-east of mainland Scotland, and have a population of just 22,000.
Shetland is the most healthy place to live in Scotland because the isles are financially very stable and the people are one of the happiest in Scotland. The islands are financially very healthy with savings of £400 million, this is a huge amount of money for such a small population. Unemployment in the islands has been very low for three decades; in the past ten years, it has varied between 0.7% and 1.6% and has usually been less than half the Scottish average. The fishing industry brings in the most money for the islands, followed by the oil industry. As you would expect, Shetland has low levels of pollution which also promotes good health for it’s inhabitants; Shetland is a very healthy place to live.
Orkney is a collection of around seventy islands, of which twenty are inhabited. The islands are located ten miles north-east of mainline Scotland, and the population of Orkney is only around 21,000.
Orkney is rated as the second most healthy place to live in Scotland as the life expectancy is high, and like Shetland, it is financially very stable. The unemployment rate in Orkney was 3.4% in March 2014, compared to an average across Scotland of 7.3%. Disposable incomes are also higher than average in Orkney at £17,950, compared to £16,267 for Scotland overall. Life expectancy for men is higher in this region than any other Scottish NHS board area, with men living an average of 79.7 years. Orkney also boasts low levels of pollution, and people who are one of the happiest in Scotland. All of these factors point to Orkney as a very healthy place to live.
3. The Outer Hebrides
The Outer Hebrides is a collection of islands off the west coast of Scotland. Only fifteen of the islands are inhabited with a total population of 27,400. The major islands include Lewis, Harris, North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist, and Barra.
The Outer Hebrides makes position 3 as the islands have a good combination of low pollution levels, low unemployment, and people who are one of the happiest in Scotland. Unemployment levels in the Outer Hebrides from January to December 2013 was 6.7%, compared to 7.7% for Scotland overall.
4. East Dunbartonshire
East Dunbartonshire borders onto the north-west of the City of Glasgow. It contains many of the suburbs of Glasgow as well as many of the city’s commuter towns and villages. East Dunbartonshire also shares a border with North Lanarkshire, Stirling, and West Dunbartonshire. The population of the region is 105,000 people. Major towns in the area include Bearsden, Lenzie, and Kirkintilloch.
East Dunbartonshire enters the list at number 4 as the people who live there have a high life expectancy; life expectancy is highest for both men and females than any other local council borough, with men living until 78.7 years and females until 82.7 years. This high life expectancy might be attributed to the region having low levels of deprivation, with relatively low unemployment and low levels of crime. The quality of life in the region must be good as East Dunbartonshire had been voted the best place in Britain to raise a family.
5. Dumfries & Galloway
Dumfries & Galloway is a region in the south-west of Scotland and next to the border with England. To the north, Dumfries & Galloway borders East Ayrshire, Sourth Ayrshire and South Lanarkshire; in the east the Borders. The major town in the region is Dumfries. The population of the region is a substantial 150,000.
6. The Borders
The Borders is located next to the border with England in the south-east of Scotland. The region is surrounded by the City of Edinburgh, Dumfries & Galloway, East Lothian, Midlothian, South Lanarkshire, and West Lothian. The population of the Borders is 114,000.
The Borders takes up the 6th position on the list as life expectancy for females is higher in this region than any other Scottish NHS board area, with females living an average of 82 years. People in the Borders also scored high for life satisfaction and feeling their life is worthwhile.
This list has been compiled by Lorna Balfour a personal fitness trainer and lifestyle coach.