Scotland is more prosperous than England and is home to four of the top ten most prosperous parts of the UK, according to a new survey.
The Outer Hebrides, the Orkney Islands, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, and the Shetland Islands all came ahead of areas like Surrey and Oxfordshire in the top ten most prosperous areas of the UK.
People living in the Outer Hebrides are also the happiest in the UK.
International think tank the Legatum Institute’s first ever Geography of Prosperity Index, compares the prosperity of 170 areas across Britain. The findings are based on measuring the average income per person along with how happy they feel.
Scotland’s top performers contain some of the wealthiest parts of the UK. The oil industry helps boost average incomes in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire to around £34,600 – 13th highest in the UK.
They also contain some of the poorest.
Incomes in the Outer Hebrides are just £15,000 a year, number 135 out of the 170 areas surveyed. The islands’ residents from Lewis to Barra are, however, the happiest in the UK, followed by Orkney Islanders, who rank second.
London dominated the rankings, with four out of the five most prosperous areas in the country – but also three of the ten least prosperous areas including Croydon, Brent and Bexley & Greenwich.
Inner London contains nine out of the top ten wealthiest areas.
Sian Hansen, Executive Director of the Legatum Institute, said that the index showed thatprosperity is about more than just wealth – it is about feeling that one’s life is worthwhile. Scotland secures four top spots, predominantly due to very high levels of life-satisfaction.”
She continued: “Areas like Aberdeenshire rank highly because the oil industry boosts average earnings considerably, but the area also has reasonably high life-satisfaction. Some of the most prosperous areas of the country are those where people have the opportunity to lead healthy, fulfilling and prosperous lives.”
The five most prosperous places in the UK, according to Geography of Prosperity Index, are:
1. Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea
4. Camden and the City of London
5. Outer Hebrides