West of Scotland is ‘Still Game’ as a third have lived there all their lives

06 March 2015

Over a third (34%) of people who live in West Scotland have lived there all their life, more than any other Scottish region, new research from Bank of Scotland shows. Just like Still Game’s Jack and Victor, who have lived in Glasgow all their lives, it seems that a large proportion of Scots stay close to their roots and don’t move far from the area they grew up in.

So why do many of us live where we do? The two main reasons given were because we have always lived there (20%) or because we moved there as we liked the area (20%).


After West Scotland, Central Scotland ranked second highest for people living in an area all their lives (29%). While over a fifth (22%) of 45-54 year olds and almost a quarter (24%) of 25-34 year olds have remained where they grew up, it seems that the Still Game mind-set may have skipped a generation. Only 16% of 35-44 year olds have stayed put, as other factors have determined their choice on where to live.

A sixth (17%) of people living in South Scotland and Fife moved to be with their partner or family, closely followed by Mid Scotland (16%). In these areas, living close to family ranked highly for what people liked about living there, especially to those in Fife (28%). However, it’s Central (33%) and West Scotland (39%) where most people like the fact that family are close by in their community, which may explain why so many have never moved away.


When choosing a home, moving to an area they like has been one of the two main drivers for 35-44 year olds (18%), helped by the fact that almost a third have family close by (30%). Moving to a nice area was most important for those living in the Lothians, with a quarter saying its location is what appeals most about where they live.

Similarly, for Glaswegians, Dundonians and Highlanders the most important thing overall when moving was choosing an area they liked, with transport links being a key benefit in Glasgow (37%) and a peaceful location in Dundee (37%). Not surprisingly, more than half (53%) of people living in the Highlands appreciate the peacefulness most of all.

A quarter of over 65s also live where they do because they like the area so much, which is understandable when this is likely to be where they have settled for retirement. What they appreciate most about their community is the peace and quiet (38%) and being close to family (28%).


The average house price has increased 4.3% since 20131 so it’s not surprising that moving to an area they can afford to live in is the second main driver for 35-44 year olds (18%), and also a key factor for the 25-34 and 45-54 age groups (both 14%).

Of all the regions in Scotland, being in an affordable area was most important for those living in Glasgow (19%), with Aberdeenshire a close second. The research found that the mean gross household income is lowest in Glasgow (£30,958), which may account for why affordability is so important, but while mean gross household income was highest in Aberdeenshire (£40,358), the average cost of a home there is £226,9191, significantly above the Scotland average of £163,5631.

Robin Bulloch, Managing Director of Bank of Scotland said, “It’s not often research looks at why people live where they do, so it’s been interesting learning more about the communities we live in. While a good proportion of Scots have never moved away from the area they grew up in, living in an area they like has been an important factor for many. However it’s evident that whatever the reason for many of us living where we do, family plays a central role in people being happy where they live.”