Seventh place East Dunbartonshire is still hard to beat

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East Dunbartonshire has managed to scrape a lowly seventh place in the latest quality of life index from the Bank of Scotland ... behind windswept Orkney and even Perth.

But it may be of some consolation for local people to know that the area has the third highest property price to earnings ratio in the country, and is also third when it comes to qualifications and weekly earnings.

Their children also have the best exam results.

East Dunbartonshire people are top of the form when it comes to simply outlasting the rest of the population, too, with the longest life spans.

If you’re a chap living in a town like Kirky or Bearsden you can expect to enjoy local life until you’re 80 and three quarters (less a week or so), which is 2.73 per cent more than Scottish average.

But women literally have the last laugh, as they can expect to oulast you by three years and a month or so, at 83.89 years – almost three years longer than women elsewhere.

The fun guide from the Bank takes a welter of what are argued to be key quality of life indicators and boils them down into a simple league table – although not everyone would agree that “sparsely populated” is necessarily a major plus.

Least impressed by the Bank’s analysis may be Glaswegians, who – whether they live in Barlarnark, Ruchazie or the West End – may be surprised to find that they are in the very worst place to live in the whole of Scotland, in rock bottom 32nd place.

Meanwhile Argyll gets a leg up because of the high proportion of pubs relative to population, although for those who may fancy the exciting night life of, say, Oban, a trawl through some pub guides might be advisable.

For every splendid exemplar of licensed trade excellence such as the George Hotel in Inveraray, or the inimitable Galley of Lorne in Ardfern, there are several others which would arguably win few plaudits from the pubgoing cognoscenti.

Perth and the Scottish Borders have both increased their ratings because so many people have become health and fitness fanatics – possibly through lack of anything much else do do, and the abundance of countryside.

Suburban East Renfrewshire and the Western Isles share the honours for owning the biggest homes, while poor West Dunbartonshire people have to make do with the smallest.

However the devil is arguably in the statistical detail when it comes to health, with top performer Orkney, at 96.6 per cent of people believing they are in fairly good health, not hugely ahead of the national average of 94.6 per cent - not really a game-changer, then, for anyone wondering where to set up house.

Meanwhile for anyone still contemplating a flit to Orkney or other far-flung star performers (including Shetland and the Western Isles) it could be worth turning the map the other way round, because Winchester is the best place to live in the whole UK ... if you like that sort of thing.

Known to the Romans as Venta Belgarum this fine, ancient city has one of the largest cathedrals in Europe – and the longest nave and overall length of all the Gothic cathedrals in Europe.

It can boast some very fine pubs too (which may have helped its rating).

Which Scottish town or city has the best banter, nicest people, loveliest parks or most helpful shop staff?

Unfortunately the Bank is mute on these and many other arguably significant quality of life indicators.

Some people (especially businesses) would put a high premium on something as prosaic as broadband speed, which the report assesses as the proportion of premises able to receiv e 5Mbps (megabits per second).

Here West Dunbartonshire people, huddled in their tiny homes, at least have the satisfaction of sharing joint first place with pawkily couthy Tayside city Dundee (which also boasts the lowest rainfall), closely followed by otherwise apparently hopeless Glasgow, Edinburgh (which is just 21st out of 32 in the league) then Falkirk and North Lanarkshire.

Some might consider the whole exercise to be as meaningful as a Christmas cracker, but for local residents longevity, earnings, and the highest GCSE results in the country are possibly the hard facts, among all the statistical chaff, that are well worth cherishing.

Meanwhile for Glasgow citizens, in their daily struggle to find the will to carry on, there’s the crowning glory of the city’s Subway to celebrate – even if it does perversely shut at 6pm on a Sunday.