15 Jan 2021

Happiest places in Scotland in 2021

Happiest places in Scotland in 2021

Where do the happiest people in Scotland live? And which area comes bottom of the table?

The Highlands and Islands, renowned for its breathtaking scenery, is top of Bank of Scotland's latest happiness index with a score of 53.8 - the highest figure recorded to date.

Residents of this location have become even more contented following the Coronavirus lockdown earlier this year.

The figure rose by nearly five points from 49.1 between March and June.

The index asks Scots how happy or unhappy they are in their local communities, to create a barometer ranging between -100 (very unhappy) to +100 (very happy).

The second happiest area to live is mid-Scotland and Fife, which recorded the biggest improvement during the lockdown period from 40.7 to 52.3 (+11.6).

This is followed by the north-east (45.6) then Central Scotland (43.7).

Both areas saw their scores rise compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Glasgow is bottom of the pack, with a figure of just 35.7, a fall of 6.1 between March and June.

Before the introduction of the measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, happiness levels across Scotland had shown an annual decrease for the first time in six years, from 44.6 in 2019 to 42.9, but have since recovered to 44.2.

Ricky Diggins, director at Bank of Scotland, said:

"2020 has been a year of immense change for everyone, and we expected to see the impact of this in the results of our latest happiness index, which Bank of Scotland has been running for the past six years.

"The results show that the collective mood can be quite different, depending on where you live. "Following the national lockdown earlier in the year, the Highlands and Islands recorded its highest happiness score to date, and other areas also showed improvements.

"However, happiness levels dropped below those we've seen in previous years in Glasgow and Edinburgh - suggesting the pandemic has had a different impact on Scottish city dwellers."

Women continue to be more content than men but, following lockdown, men showed a greater improvement in their score than women.

Households of two remain the happiest, although families of six or more are now closing the gap, sitting just behind in second place, with those who live alone bringing up the rear.

According to the index, any of the following make Scots contented - home ownership, being aged 65 or over, living in a rural location, having children and/or grandchildren, or having income or savings of £100,000 or more.

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