ORKNEY has been named the second-best place to live in the UK, according to a quality-of-life survey.
The archipelago has risen in the UK table and also retains the title of the best place to live in Scotland.
Orkney was closely followed by the Shetland Islands, which came second, and the Western Isles was third in the Bank of Scotland quality-of-life survey.
Winchester in the South East took the title of best place to live in the UK while Wychavon, Worcestershire, was in third place behind Orkney.
The Shetland Isles in 18th place was the only other Scottish area to feature in the UK top 20.
The analysis found those living in Orkney have the lowest crime rates in the UK with a housebreaking rate of just 2.3 per 10,000 people, compared to a Scottish average of 27.2 and 28.7 for the rest of the UK.
The islands also had the lowest levels of anxiety rating in the UK (1.9 out of 10) and, along with people in the Western Isles, are most satisfied with life (8.2 out of 10).
Low population, significantly higher employment rates and low amounts of traffic on the roads were also high in the ratings.
The overwhelming majority of adults (96.6%) said they were in good or fairly good health compared to a national average of 94.6%.
Graham Blair, mortgage director at Bank of Scotland, said: “Having one of the lowest population densities and traffic levels in Scotland, let alone some of the most stunning scenery in the British Isles, it’s no wonder that Orkney also has the lowest levels of anxiety and highest life satisfaction ratings.”
There has been no movement in the top three places to live in Scotland and Scottish Borders and Perth and Kinross rose in the rankings because they had the highest numbers of health and fitness clubs.
Argyll and Bute has also benefited from new leisure categories because it had the highest number of pubs (25 per 10,000 people).
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