Decline in education standards and life expectancy to blame as Scotland slips down wellbeing league

11 Sep 2017


Scotland is falling down a global league table of wellbeing because of falling education standards and poor life expectancy, experts have warned.

A new index out today sees Scotland drop four places to 20th on a measure of social and economic wellbeing.

That’s significantly behind the UK average, and means countries including South Korea, Austria, France and New Zealand are all performing better.

Economic expert John McLaren said: “This fall was due to a worsening education performance, exacerbated by falling income levels associated with the decline in North Sea-related activity. Furthermore, Scotland’s very poor life expectancy performance failed to improve, in relative terms, over the decade.”

In the 2006 measure, Scotland had a score of 2.13, which was the 16th best in the world.
However, after a decade of the SNP in government, that score has now fallen to 1.98, just ahead of Slovenia in 21st place.

Scottish Conservative MSP Donald Cameron said:

“The evidence here could hardly be more stark.

“After a decade of SNP control, Scotland has tumbled down global measures of social and economic wellbeing.

“This is a damning indictment on policy areas the nationalists have had complete control over for 10 years, like education and health.

“The narrative we consistently hear from the SNP is how wonderful a place Scotland is to live.

“But now we can see, under SNP control, things are actually getting worse.

“Nicola Sturgeon cannot turn her fire on anyone else for this; the experts are clear that these matters are for the Scottish Government of the day to address.

“People will wonder what more evidence the First Minister needs to persuade her to get back to the day job.”

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