Orkney has finally been crowned the UK’s best place to live, following the past two years as runner up, according to the 2019 Halifax Quality of Life Survey.
The archipelago, famed for its spectacular landscapes and archaeological treasures, sealed the top spot based on Orcadians’ high employment levels, low crime rate, strong exam results, smaller primary class sizes and good health and happiness scores.
Richmondshire in North Yorkshire took second place (up from 9th), followed by Rutland in the East Midlands, Hambleton in North Yorkshire and Eden in Cumbria in fifth place
Russell Galley, Managing Director, Halifax, said: “Orkney has consistently been considered one of the best places to live in the UK and Orcadians will be delighted to hear they have now taken the crown. Its remote location may not be for everyone, but this comes with the benefit of having high employment, low crime rates, smaller, on long life expectancy and where adults rate themselves to be in good health. Geography also benefits these areas with more hours of sunshine and less rainfall.
In the North, most areas have relatively better housing affordability conditions with a low house price to earnings ratio. They also benefit from urban environmental factors such as low traffic flows, crime rates and fewer people per square kilometre – which in turn could explain why they have lower average primary school sizes.