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Aberdeen is named best city to live in Scotland

ABERDEEN is the best Scottish city to live in, according to a new report that grades cities on their economic success and quality of life.

The oil capital of Scotland was placed third in a league table of UK cities rated by their "good growth".

This was defined by a range of factors including the level of wages available to residents, house prices, the amount of time people spent at work and the quality of the environment.

The survey, by accountants Pricewaterhousecoopers (PwC), sought to establish the most desirable areas by looking at how they were viewed by their residents and by leaving out the financial figures contained in a city's gross domestic product (GDP), which are generally favoured by politicians.

Aberdeen scored highly when it came to jobs, income, health and the average commuting time to work, as well as its proximity to the countryside and the number of people who had savings.

However, the city lost ground when the work-life balance of its residents was measured, possibly because of the long shift patterns worked by many in the oil industry.

Mark Higginson, senior partner at PwC in Aberdeen, said: "We truly believe that Aberdeen is a dynamic and forward-thinking city, and a great place to live, do business and invest, building on a recent poll that described it as the happiest city in the UK during 2012.

"We need to sell our vision for Aberdeen to businesses, investors and future talent if we are to continue driving growth and realise the city's potential as a global energy capital."

Barney Crockett, leader of Aberdeen City Council, said: "Once again we see Aberdeen rated highly in comparison with other places in the UK, and we're delighted with that.

"The driving factor is the area's private sector, particularly oil and gas, and people are realising this across the UK.

"A key issue for cities around the world is 'livability', and Aberdeen has a situation that is very hard to match.

"We have an outstanding environment with award-winning parks and the countryside on our doorstep.

"Aberdeen is a good size, it's on a good scale in common with the other leading cities. It's an attractive place to live, work, learn, visit, invest and do business. There's something here for everyone and fantastic opportunities on offer."

Of the other Scottish cities in the study, Edinburgh was placed eighth and was rated as above the UK average for "good growth". However, Glasgow, Scotland's largest city, was ranked 26th and was said to be below the national average.

Edinburgh, which was recently named Europe's top city for foreign direct investment, was valued highly in terms of jobs, income, work-life balance and the environment, as well as house-to-price earnings.

Glasgow was rated positively for its transport links, work-life balance, income, environment and providing for the future, and was deemed the most affordable city to live in compared with other cities in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

But the city lost ground due to its poor health record and a lack of people who owned their own home.

Oxford was said to be the best city in the UK, followed by Reading.

Paul Brewer, head of government and public sector at PwC in Scotland, said: "The UK's major cities have a key role to play in driving the country's recovery and growth.

"This study demonstrates the quality of growth matters to the public, with issues such as home, family and health being considered as part of the bigger economic picture and priorities.

"It is not a question of whether a GDP approach is right or wrong in comparison to this broader-based assessment. After all, both GDP growth and good quality of life are required for successful growth."

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