Highlands Women Are 'Happiest'

The happiest people in Scotland are women aged over 65 who live in the Highlands, according to a new report.

The Bank of Scotland's happiness index, which quantifies how happy people are in the communities in which they live, found women are far more content with their lives.

Survey results also revealed those aged 18 to 24 are the unhappiest age group, with a score below the Scotland average.

As they reach 25-34 the score increases but then dips slightly for the 35-44s before rising sharply for the 45-54 age group. But it is the retirement age of over 65 when people are happiest in life, the survey found.

Across the country, Dundee was in second place on the happiness index by region, with 30% saying they are "very happy'' with their lives while 39% in the Highlands said the same.

Aberdeen, Fife and Central Scotland seemed to be the least happy regions, having happiness scores four points below the Scottish average.

The index found that 5% of respondents in both Fife and Central said they were "very unhappy'' with life in their community.

When it comes to money, those with the highest happiness score had a personal income of more than £60,000 while those with a household income of up to £14,999 had the lowest score.

Second happiest are those in the £40,000-£59,999 bracket for both personal and household income.

Scots with a personal income of £25,000-£39,999 rank third, although this is not the case for household income.

Third in this category are those with a household income of £15,000-£24,999 while £25,000-£39,999 follows closely behind.

Robin Bulloch, managing director at Bank of Scotland Community Bank, said: "It's fair to say that, as a nation, Scots are a happy lot.

"However, the happiest people in Scotland are women aged 65 or over who live in the Highlands - understandable when you are enjoying retirement in such a beautiful part of Scotland.

"While the happiness index has highlighted some fairly obvious points like the more money people have the happier they tend to be, it's also raised some intriguing questions about why the happiness score dips for the 35-44 age group and why women, in general, are happier than men.

"This research really helps us understand our customers and will ultimately help us be the best bank for customers.''

The research was completed by YouGov and the findings were based on 3,215 online interviews between December 12 and January 5.

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