I know there are a lot of amazing places to live around the world, but I was sitting thinking today, since officially launching this site a week or so ago, about all the brilliant reasons to live in Scotland… It gave me a wee smile that I actually live somewhere so beautiful and so progressive that it made me want to share! Here’s the reasons why I think Scotland is the best place to live in the world as well as a few things we could do better!
Things we do good in Scotland:
Free healthcare including prescriptions
Healthcare is free at the point of entry in Scotland. What this effectively means is that no matter who you are in Scotland or what you earn, if you have any medical issue you will receive medical care free of charge. No one gets turned away. Basically, we pay for it through our taxes. In addition to this, the NHS is way more privatised in say England than it is in Scotland. Basically, there are way more agencies taking a cut out of the NHS pot down in England than there are up in Scotland, and you’ll find a lot more people employed directly by the NHS up here in Scotland than you will down south. A further reason why I think we’ve got it better in Scotland than a lot of places is that we also get our prescriptions free too, so it’s not just the medical care you receive that’s free but also the medication.
Free university education
At the moment education is free in Scotland in its entirety. From primary school to high school, right up until you finish university, there is a firm ethos/belief politically in Scotland that education should be based on your ability and not your earnings. Scots studying in Scotland are given the opportunity of free education. It’s one of the reasons why I went back and got my social science degree as a mature student. I felt having this opportunity and not using it was such a waste, and I wanted to take advantage of what my country had to offer me.
We have a well-educated & politically aware population
Following on from free university education, we have a very educated population. 26% of adults in Scotland have a degree compared to 6.7% of people worldwide. Also, in part due to the Scottish Independence Referendum of 2014 we also have a very politically aware population. A total of 84.6% of potential voters turned out to vote – showing that we are very politically active. In my eyes this can only be a good thing as when ordinary people are politically aware and politically active – that’s when things can happen. It’s when we don’t vote or don’t engage that politicians can effectively do what they want without repercussion!
We’re pro-EU (and we’ll hopefully make it back someday)
Despite Britain’s decision to leave the EU, the large majority of Scotland actually voted to stay IN Europe! It was just unfortunate that we don’t have a big enough population to actually sway the voting in our way. Nevertheless, I like to think this proves Scotland is an internationalist country (ironically despite our nationalist desire for independence) and that we are very welcoming of foreign nationals to our country!
Our unemployment rate is now lower than the rest of the UK
Our rate of unemployment is also fairly low at 3.5% which happens to be a wee bit lower than the UK as a whole.
Our cities are full of culture (and a lot of it is free to access)
One thing I love about Scotland is how many museums and galleries we have in many of our cities and towns, but also how much of it doesn’t cost a penny to access! I’ll be writing much more about what museums and galleries you can visit in Scotland in the future, but if you want some to get you started check out the museums and galleries section of my post about things to do indoors in Glasgow.
We have the best soft & alcoholic beverages
For those from abroad reading this article who may not know, Irn Bru, our national soft drink, outsells coke and pepsi in Scotland! At least, that’s what I’ve always been told. Trying to find out online has proved mixed results. Nevertheless, you can’t deny it’s popular! Just don’t get us started on the recent recipe changes!!
Our water is some of the best in the world
Scottish water is some of the best in the world. You can most definitely drink it from the tap if you’re over touring/holidaying here that’s for sure! It wasn’t until I started travelling abroad as an adult that I realised this was not the norm in every country (which seems ridiculously ignorant now I think about it but there you go)! So we can definitely count ourselves lucky!
Our natural environment is stunning
And, although this isn’t something we actually do per say as have, no-one can deny how beautiful our natural scenery is in Scotland. In fact, I had a bit of a realisation moment when I was on the train home one day from Edinburgh and a foreign tourist was looking out of the window admiring the beauty of the greenery/green belt looking bit out the window aside us. I remember thinking that that wasn’t even the beautiful part of Scotland that field they were looking at with the trees beckoning in the distance! They thought my wee commute in and out of town was passing areas of beauty! It was definitely one of those moments that made me stop and look out the window and just enjoy what we have, but the best part was knowing we’ve also got places up north like the Isle of Skye.
Things we could do better in Scotland:
We need more affordable dental treatment for adults
Lets get real. Dental treatment for adults in Scotland is extortionate. For something like an adult brace or a bridge you’re talking in the many thousands of pounds! For veneers you’re talking about £300 per veneer (so per tooth!). It’s a joke! Personally, I think free health care should cover a wee bit more as far as dental care is concerned but that’s just my opinion! Then again, I am more left-leaning politically so some might disagree!
We should take a leaf out of Finland’s book and give every homeless person a home!
Like any country, in our cities you will sometimes see homeless people out and about sitting on the streets. Personally, I think in a country as cold and wet as Scotland, we should be finding alternative solutions to house people quickly – especially in winter! I personally like the scheme that Finland adopted and feel we should take a leaf out of their book, but I know that one will be controversial.
We should copy Canada when it comes to dealing with bad weather!
Why oh why are we so crap at dealing with bad weather in Scotland???? Like it’s not like it comes as a surprise every year! Seriously, Scottish Government, if you’re listening, gonnae invest in some more snow plows and gritters! Ta in advance! Yours, Scotland.
On balance I personally think Scotland is definitely up there as one of the best places to live in the world. That’s not to say we don’t have problems here. There are problems in any country. However, it’s always nice to remind ourselves of how lucky we are in Scotland – which is why I wrote this post. What do you think though? Is Scotland the greatest country in the world?