A new study examining the minimum amount of money people need to have an acceptable living standard in rural Scotland found this is up to 40% higher than in urban Britain.
The cost of living in a countryside town is consistently more expensive in remote Scotland than in England, in some places by as much as 25%.
The study was commissioned by several councils, housing bodies, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
Research was carried out in three remote rural areas: the Highlands, the islands and southern Scotland. The study looked at living costs in towns such as Lerwick, Wick, Campbeltown and Stornoway, as well as in small settlements.
People living in remote areas have to pay more for many goods including food, household items, petrol and clothing. They also endure "significant additional costs" because they often have to travel further to get to work, the report said. Household energy bills in remote rural Scotland are "much more" more than elsewhere in the UK to allow people achieve the same levels of comfort.
People in remote rural areas of Scotland require "significantly higher incomes to attain the same minimum living standard as those living elsewhere in the UK", adding: "This is partly due to the costs of additional travel but mainly caused by the higher cost of buying the same things as elsewhere, and the extra cost of keeping warm."
Welfare benefits "do not cover the cost of living in remote rural Scotland", the report said.
State benefits only provide up to 90% of the amount of money a pensioner needs, as little as a third of what working-age people need and only about half of what a family with children needs.
The minimum wage "only produces about two-thirds of a minimum income for a single person living in remote rural Scotland", the report said.
"For an adequate income, a single person needs to earn about 90% of the median, whereas in urban parts of the country someone on two-thirds average earnings has enough."