Scotland ranked best place in the UK for quality of life

Brexit narrative of divided UK not evident in quality of life, says head of Social Progress Imperative

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Those living in Scotland have the best quality of life in the UK, according to a new survey measuring the factors that shape Briton's lives.

According to the Social Progress Index, which assesses health, safety, access to education and individual rights, England was behind both Scotland and Northern Ireland when it came to quality of life, ahead only of Wales.

The discoveries were based on data collected from 37 regions across the UK as part of the a pan-European project by the European Commission and the Social Progress Imperitive.

Among the reasons Scots were deemed to havea better quality of life was that they were thought to be most tolerant. This was measured according to the treatment of minorities, gay people, those with disabilities and the size of the gender gap.

Education was also better in both Scotland  and Northern Ireland, according to indicators such as the proportion of people attaining degrees, enrolled in school or attending adult education.

English people enjoy less freedom than Scots, according to the report. This is judged by the number of young people not in education, employment or training and people’s satisfaction with their freedom to make life choices.

England came at the bottom of the table for environmental factors such as pollution and conservation efforts.

Yet the table was reversed when it came to indicators such as access to broadband and personal safety – including traffic accidents – where Scotland performed the worst.

Michael Green, Director of the Social Progress Imperative, said in a statement: “Perhaps the most surprising finding is that the Brexit narrative of a divided United Kingdom, split between the privileged ‘London Bubble’ and more deprived regions, is not evident in terms of quality of life.

“In fact when we look at the difference in scores between the four home nations, only marginal differences separate them.”

David Cruickshank, Deloitte Global chairman, said: “To drive sustainable and equitable growth we need to focus on measurements which go beyond GDP.”