SINePost newsletter - August 2016
In this issue ...
- Latest Population Estimates
- Household Projections
- Birth statistics
- Fuel Poverty estimates
- Homelessness statistics
- Latest Economic factsheets
- Crime statistics
- Volunteering statistics
- Local Area Walking and Cycling statistics
- Smoking Status at Time of Delivery
- Greenhouse Gas estimates
- Forthcoming Statistical Releases
1. Latest Population Estimates
Somerset’s population has increased by 3,781 to 545,390 according to the latest annual ‘mid-year’ estimate from the Office for National Statistics (representing an estimate of the population on 30th June 2015).
- Amongst the 65-74 years age group the annual rate of growth was an estimated 3.4%, five times the average rate. This probably reflects the attraction of Somerset as a retirement destination.
- All Somerset districts experienced an increase but, significantly, West Somerset’s population remains below where it was fifteen years ago.
- 87% of the overall growth in Somerset is explained by internal migration. 3,304 more people moved into Somerset from elsewhere in the UK than moved out. This is the highest figure for eight years.
- Amongst the 16-24 age group, the net flow out of Somerset to other parts of the UK increased again to 1,698, albeit below the level of 2011-12. Amongst 18-20 year-olds, 2,181 more moved away than moved in, reinforcing the argument for exploring the development of a university in Somerset. Last year the net beneficiaries were university cities such as Plymouth, Cardiff, Bath and Bristol.
- The annual net increase in international migrants crept up to 754, but this remains well below the levels seen in 2004-05 to 2005-07 following the A8 Eastern European nations’ membership of the EU.
For further information please see the Somerset Intelligence website: www.somersetintelligence.org.uk/population-estimates-and-projections.html
2. Household Projections
The number of households in Somerset is projected to increase by 50,000 in the 25-year period to 2039 according to (2014-based) figures published by the Department for Communities and Local Government. The projections are available at five year intervals between 2014 and 2039: www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-household-projections
The majority of the increase in household numbers is driven by projected rises in single person and couple (only) households, with increases of 18,000 and 17,000 respectively. Over the 25-year period the average size of a Somerset household is expected to decline from 2.26 in 2014 to 2.13 in 2039.
At a district level, Sedgemoor is projected to see the biggest overall percentage increase in household numbers (up 27%), followed by Taunton Deane (24%), Mendip (21%), South Somerset (18%) and West Somerset (11%).
The projections are based on trends derived through available Census data going back to 1971. Detailed methodology is available at: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/2014-based-household-projections-methodology
3. Births statistics
The number of live births in Somerset increased for the second successive year in 2015 according to data from the Office for National Statistics. There were 5,624 live births during 2015, up from 5,588 in 2014.
This represents a General Fertility Rate (GFR) of 64.0 live births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44, above South West (60.0) and England (62.5) averages. At a district level the General Fertility Rate remains highest in Sedgemoor and lowest in West Somerset.
There were more deaths than births in Somerset during 2015, with 6,115 recorded deaths in the county. Annual death registration data is available at: www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets
4. Fuel Poverty estimates
The number of Somerset households living in fuel poverty continues to rise according to estimates from the Department for Energy and Climate Change. The latest (2014) estimate of 29,663 fuel poor households represents an increase of just under 3,000 households on the previous year’s figure. An estimated 12.4% of all Somerset households were fuel poor in 2014, compared to 10.6% nationally.
A household is considered to be fuel poor if:
- they have required fuel costs that are above average (the national median level)
- were they to spend that amount, they would be left with a residual income below the official poverty line.
Highest rates of fuel poverty are generally found in areas of deprivation and in rural areas (typically those containing older, less energy-efficient properties, and with no access to the gas grid). West Somerset district has the highest fuel poverty rate in Somerset (14.5%) and Taunton Deane the lowest (11.3%). Rates vary considerably at local level. The individual areas with the highest rates in 2014 were Frome (surrounding area), Porlock & District, and parts of the Quantocks.
5. Homelessness statistics
Local authorities in Somerset received 696 homelessness applications during 2015/16 according to figures published by the Department for Communities and Local Government. This was 10% fewer than in 2014/15.
A total of 368 households were accepted as statutorily homeless during 2015/16 (representing 53% of all homelessness applications). This was 17% fewer homelessness acceptances than during 2014/15.
A total of 1,424 Somerset households were prevented from becoming homeless during 2015/16 through positive action by local authorities (that is, action outside the homelessness statutory framework). This compared to 1,605 households during 2014/15.
An additional 109 cases of homelessness ‘relief’ were recorded in 2015/16 (where an authority was unable to prevent homelessness but helped secure alternative accommodation). This was an increase on the 81 cases during 2014/15.
6. Latest Economic factsheets
Updated factsheets covering employment, economic activity, occupations, earnings and workforce skills are now available on the Somerset Intelligence website: See: www.somersetintelligence.org.uk/employment.html
- ‘Total employment’ (jobs) in Somerset increased by 1.5% between 2013 and 2014, compared to an increase of 2.7% at national level.
- The wholesale industry sector had the largest annual increase between 2013 and 2014 (up 24.2%). Employment in the public administration and defence sector fell by 9.9% over the same period.
- In 2014/15, 4,890 apprenticeships were started in Somerset, an increase of 16.7% on the previous year.
- The number of apprenticeship achievements has slowed in recent years. In 2014/15, 2,640 apprenticeship achievements (or completions) were recorded in Somerset, a fall of 1.9% on the previous year.
7. Crime statistics
Annual crime figures for Somerset showed a 14% increase in recorded crime in 2015/16 compared to the previous year, mirroring an upward national trend. In publishing the figures, the Office for National Statistics advise that this is not necessarily a reliable indicator of trends in crime; most of the latest rise is thought to be due to improved crime recording practices and processes leading to a greater proportion of reports of crime being recorded in the last year than in the previous year.
At a rate of 53 recorded crimes per 1,000 population, the crime rate in Somerset in 2015/16 was in line with BaNES (53 per 1,000 population) and South Gloucestershire (51 per 1,000), and around half the level seen in Bristol (104 per 1,000 population).
8. Volunteering statistics
One in three adults (33%) in the South West participates in formal volunteering (that is, through groups, clubs or organisations) at least once a month according to the latest Cabinet Office Community Life Survey 2015/16. If applied to Somerset’s population, this would equate to around 150,000 residents.
Nationally, levels of formal volunteering were the same as in the previous 2014/15 survey (at 27% of adults). Due to the relatively small sample size, figures are not published below regional level.
According to the survey, the South West continues to have the highest levels of charitable giving of any English regions, with 84% of adults having given to charity in the previous four weeks.
9. Local Area Walking and Cycling statistics
The proportion of Somerset adults walking at least five times a week for ‘utility’ purposes (for example, walking to work) increased to 20.0% in 2014/15 according to estimates published by the Department for Transport. This represents the second consecutive annual increase. The proportion of adults walking for recreational purposes has been largely unchanged in recent years (21.8% of adults in 2014/15).
The proportion of adults in Somerset cycling at least five times a week appears to have declined, for both utility and recreational purposes. An estimated 2.2% of adults cycled at least five times a week in 2014/15 (for any purpose), down from 3.9% the previous year.
The estimates are based on Sport England’s Active People Survey: See: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/local-area-walking-and-cycling-in-england-2014-to-2015
10. Smoking Status at Time of Delivery
The proportion of women smoking in pregnancy (at time of delivery) continues to decline according to latest published figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC): www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statistics-on-womens-smoking-status-at-time-of-delivery-england-apr-2015-to-mar-2016
In 2015/16, 13.5% of women in Somerset were smoking in pregnancy, compared to 14.1% in 2014/15, and 17.4% in 2013/14. The national average in 2015/16 was 10.6%.
Further information about smoking and tobacco control in Somerset is available on the Somerset Intelligence website: www.somersetintelligence.org.uk/smoking.html
11. Greenhouse Gas estimates
The rate of carbon dioxide emissions in Somerset continues to fall according to annual estimates from the Department for Energy and Climate Change: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/uk-local-authority-and-regional-carbon-dioxide-emissions-national-statistics-2005-2014
Overall carbon dioxide emissions in Somerset have steadily declined from 8.0 tonnes per person in 2005 to 6.3 tonnes per person in 2014 (mirroring a national downward trend). The latest annual fall is largely attributable to declines in domestic (household fuel) emissions.
Around 43% of emissions in Somerset in 2014 related to industry and commerce, 30% to transport and 27% to domestic energy use.
12. Forthcoming Statistical Releases
The following are due for release at sub-regional geographies during August:
- Subnational population projections, supplementary analysis: 2014 based projections (ONS)
- Public health outcomes framework: August 2016 data update (PHE)
- Local tobacco control profiles for England: August 2016 data update (PHE)
- UK migration indicators by local area: 2015 (ONS)
- Housing Benefit: entitlement reductions, 2015 to 2016 (experimental) (DWP)
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