There’s no place like home for Borders residents who are living in one of the country’s happiest regions, according to a new study.
The UK Happiness Index, compiled on behalf of Royal Mail, has found that the region is the fifth happiest place to live in Scotland.
The index, published last week, takes into account eight measures relevant to happiness, including life expectancy, crime rates, earnings, carbon emissions, and personal wellbeing.
The Borders came out in fifth place, due largely to its low crime rate, currently sitting at the second lowest in Scotland.
East Renfrewshire topped the list thanks to its high scoring in the earnings, which are up to 90% higher than other areas in the UK.
Scottish Borders Council leader Shona Haslam said that people living in the Border felt they had a good quality of life.
“The Scottish Borders is an amazing place to live, so I am not surprised with the results of the Royal Mail survey, except maybe that we are not first,” she said.
“It follows the Scottish Borders household survey findings issued last month which revealed that respondents rate their quality of life as good, feel safe in their home and feel their neighbourhoods are a good place to live.”
The Tweeddale East councillor promised that the authority would continue to be ambitious and support transformational plans to deliver high quality services into the future.
She added: “At the same time, we need residents to play their part and tell us what they think on a regular basis in order to help us keep the Borders thriving.”
A spokeswoman for VisitScotland said that the results came at an exciting time for the region, as it seeks to grow its tourism offering.
She said: “It’s fantastic news to see that the Scottish Borders is the fifth happiest place in Scotland to live.
“It is an exciting time for the region with major investment in the tourism sector, including the recently opened Borders Distillery in Hawick and the opening of the Borders Railway has been a phenomenal success for the region.
“Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it is integral to sustaining communities across Scotland by generating income, creating jobs and stimulating social change.”
Winchester was named the happiest place to live in the UK, with East Dunbartonshire, Aberdeenshire and Stirling joining East Renfrewshire to beat the Borders into the top spots in Scotland.
Royal Mail commissioned Cebr to construct the happiness index earlier this year.
A Royal Mail spokeswoman said: “This new study takes a look at the areas across the UK sparking the most joy.
“For people across the UK looking to live in or visit the happiest places, there are plenty to choose from.”