For the fourth time in seven years, residents of Aberdeenshire have the best quality of life in Scotland, according to a survey.
The Bank of Scotland Quality of Life Survey has placed Aberdeenshire in the top spot based on residents’ health and life expectancy, employment, school performance and climate.
East Dunbartonshire claimed the second spot on the list while Shetland, last year’s winner, was third.
The study found Aberdeenshire residents tend to be fit and well, with 93.8% reporting good health and a higher-than-average life expectancy of 78.2 years.
Employment rates in the area are high, at 79%, with many residents enjoying full-time weekly earnings of £661 - 13% above the Scottish average of £585.
The level of school qualifications is also above average.
However, house prices in relation to earnings in Aberdeenshire are said to be much higher than much of the country, with the cost of buying a property 5.7 times the average annual local income.
The Provost of Aberdeenshire, Councillor Jill Webster, said: “It is fantastic to see that Aberdeenshire has been recognised as having the best quality of life in Scotland, for the fourth time in seven years.
“From our majestic mountains to stunning coastlines, Aberdeenshire has a lot to offer as Scotland’s hidden gem in terms of outdoor activities and opportunities.
“Aside from providing an extraordinary backdrop, this survey demonstrates that in Aberdeenshire our residents benefit from high rates of employment, first-rate education and good levels of health and fitness.”
Nitesh Patel, economist at Bank of Scotland, added: “Taking a wide range of indicators into account, residents in Aberdeenshire enjoy the best quality of life in Scotland – the fourth time in seven years it has taken this accolade.
“While not being the leading district across all measures, Aberdeenshire comes out on top because it scores consistently highly across nearly all indicators. In particular, Aberdeenshire residents typically enjoy good health, long life expectancy, high employment, low crime, and high quality schooling. On the downside, house prices are relatively high compared to local incomes.”