A new study has found that Scotland has the highest quality of life of any nation in the UK.
The European Social Progress Index, published today, found that people in Scotland hold positive and tolerant attitudes on diversity, benefit from better environmental quality and are able to exercise more personal freedoms than people elsewhere in the UK.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Scotland compares well on measures of positive and tolerant attitudes on race, sexuality and disability.
The latest Scottish Social Attitudes Survey has found that prejudice based on age, disability, sexuality, gender identity, ethnicity or religion has fallen in Scotland.
— The SNP (@theSNP) September 30, 2016
2. Scotland also had the smallest gender gap in employment rates.
The gender employment gap in Scotland is 7 per cent – lower than the gap at UK level of 9.6 per cent. Scotland also has a higher women’s employment rate than the UK as a whole.
But, there’s still much to do. Here’s the action we’re taking to support Scotland’s women.
3. On education, including university attainment and lifelong learning, Scotland outperforms England.
A record number of young people secured a place at Scotland’s universities this year. And, the number of Scottish students and students from deprived areas are up too.
4. The Index shows a significant gap between Scotland and England on environmental quality, including on pollution and the protection of natural habitats.
We’ve made good progress on tackling air pollution, but there’s much still to do. We’ll take forward the actions set out in ‘Cleaner Air for Scotland’ – Scotland’s first distinct air quality strategy – to further reduce air pollution, with the first low emission zone put in place by the end of 2018.
We’ve also taken steps to halt the loss of biodiversity in Scotland, with 80 per cent of the designated natural features at Scotland’s protected sites now in favourable condition.
And, we’re leading UK when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions too.
— The SNP (@theSNP) August 1, 2016
4. Scotland has a lower rate of young people not in education, employment or training than England.
The number of young people aged 16 to 19 not in education, employment or training in Scotland has fallen by 12,000 since 2010. Scotland also outperforms the UK on youth employment, unemployment and inactivity rates.