NEW research claims to have identified Scotland’s happiest places to live.

The “happy at home” index, now in its 10th year, asked more than 21,000 people across Britain how they feel about various aspects of where they live.

Happiness measures in the index compiled by Rightmove include friendliness and community spirit, whether people feel they can be themselves, nature and green spaces, opportunities locally to develop skills and amenities including schools, restaurants, shops and sports facilities.

Stirling was identified as the happiest place to live in Scotland, while Hexham in Northumberland was named the happiest in Britain overall.

Next in Scotland was Perth, with Inverness, Edinburgh and Dundee making up the top five.

And here are Scotland’s top 10 happiest places to live with the overall rankings across Britain in brackets:

  • 1. Stirling (6)
  • 2. Perth (11)
  • 3. Inverness (51)
  • 4. Edinburgh (76)
  • 5. Dundee (80)
  • 6. Ayr (94)
  • 7. Glasgow (98)
  • 8. Kirkcaldy (141)
  • 9. Paisley (149)
  • 10. Aberdeen (156)

The National: Dundee finished fifth in the rankings Dundee finished fifth in the rankings

Rightmove’s study found that people living in coastal villages tended to be the happiest group in the study.

Around a third of this year’s top 20 happiest British towns are market towns, it added.

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted many people to move home in order to make lifestyle changes.

The study found that more than two-thirds (69%) of people who had moved in the last year relocated to a different area. Nearly two-thirds of these people (64%) reported feeling happier where they now live.

Eight in 10 (81%) of those who had moved from a town to a village said they now feel happier with where they live.

Rightmove predicts 1.5 million house sales will have taken place this year.