EAST Dunbartonshire is the best place in the UK for women to live, with East Renfrewshire close behind, according to new research.

Both places beat West Oxfordshire, which came third in the study of 380 local authority areas across the country.

East Dunbartonshire was highly rated on a number of factors such as education, the environment and pay. The average full-time salary for women in East Dunbartonshire is £15.07 per hour, 46th in the UK.

The study for Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour –which is broadcast from Bishopbriggs today – also found that the Outer Hebrides came top for female wellbeing, with the Orkney Islands coming fourth in the same category.

The worst performing areas in the UK for safety were in Scotland and London, with Aberdeen and Glasgow coming first and third respectively in the league table.

Dumfries and Galloway came second but the figures were possibly skewed by its sparse population, according to the researchers.

All five areas with the highest rated environmental quality were located in Scotland, with Moray coming top followed by Argyll and Bute, Highland, North Ayrshire and Inverclyde.

Scotland scored badly on female life expectancy with the lowest being West Dunbartonshire where females can expect to live, on average, to the age of 79.

Glasgow City, East Ayrshire and North Lanarkshire were not much better and despite its high levels of education, environmental quality, wellbeing and income, East Dunbartonshire did not excel here either, coming in at 159th in the league table. With median house prices costing 7.5 times the local median income, it ranked 192nd out of 380 in housing affordability.

However, East Dunbartonshire reported the 10th highest proportion in Great Britain of young people continuing on to higher education at 56 per cent and had the eighth lowest number of exclusions (11.4 per 1,000 pupils).

While welcoming the ranking for East Dunbartonshire, the area’s LibDem MP Jo Swinson said there was no room for complacency.

“Good schools, green space and strong community spirit are some of the things that make East Dunbartonshire a special place to live,” she said.

“This accolade from Woman’s Hour is welcome, but we must remember that too many local people are still struggling with inadequate housing and the challenge of making ends meet.”

A spokesperson for West Dunbartonshire Council said: “Life expectancy and poverty are inextricably linked and together with our community planning partners, we are doing everything we can to address the underlying social and economic factors, including deprivation and generational health inequalities.

“We are determined to improve the life chances of all our residents by increasing access to jobs, education and training, ensuring families access to their full benefit entitlement, offering improved housing and also intervening at the earliest opportunity to close the attainment gap and support families.”