While some parts of the UK want to see less immigration, the government in Scotland has often said it wants to attract more people from abroad to live and work and now a new index says Fife is the happiest place to settle.

The ancient Kingdom of Fife lies north of Edinburgh and is famous for its pretty fishing villages and mild climate and now it has come top in the annual Bank of Scotland happiness index.

Fife, Scotland
It is also suggested that retiring to Fife could well be the start of a happy and prosperous older age as it is older men and women who are the happiest out of all age groups and Fife is also known for its gentle countryside and pleasant walks by the sea and inland.

Fife knocked last year’s winner the Highlands into second place. In third place is Mid Scotland, followed by South Scotland, the Lothians, West Scotland, Aberdeen, Glasgow, North East Scotland, Central Scotland and then Dundee making up the top 10.

In the past 12 months, Fife has jumped from a happiness score of 35.56 to 56.56, which is well above the Scotland average of 40.43 and the research also shows that those aged 65 and over, and women, remain the happiest in Scotland.

The index attempts to quantify how happy people are in the communities in which they live. Some 41% of people living in Fife said they were very happy living in their community, which is almost double last year's 23%.

The amount of residents in Fife saying they were unhappy living in their community reduced to 7% this year, from 13% last year and the report suggests that this could be because they are focusing most on spending time with family and are also taking time to pursue hobbies and interests, as well as progress their career.

Although now in second place, the Highlands' happiness score of 50.56 is still an improvement on last year's score of 47.73, while those in Dundee are least happy living in their community, falling from a 2015 happiness score of 44.3 to 31.01 this year.

Overall, though, Scots are generally happier than they were last year. There has been a slight increase in the overall happiness score for Scotland, which is now 40.43 compared to 39.02 last year.

Women were again found to be happier than men with both seeing a slight improvement on last year. Although those aged 65 and over remain the happiest in Scotland, there was a slight dip in their score. Those aged 18-24 are still the least happy while those on a household income of £25,000 to £39,999 are the most happy in Scotland.

‘This year, Fife's happiness score has increased over 20 points, putting them at the top of the Happiness Index and pushing the Highlands into second place,’ said Rachel Bright, Bank of Scotland's head of customer service.

‘There has been a slight increase in the overall happiness score for Scotland as a whole, with women remaining happier than men. As we saw last year, happiness increases with age, and pensioners are once more the happiest age group in Scotland,’ she added.