SINePost newsletter - December 2015
In this issue ...
- Small Area Population Estimates: Mid-2014
- Local Authority Council Tax base
- Health Expectancies and Inequalities
- Free School Meals: Progression to Higher Education
- Childhood Obesity
- Business Births and Deaths
- Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings
- Excess Winter Deaths
- Housing Benefit and Spare Room Subsidy caseloads
- Traveller Caravan Count
- Consultation on Survey of Mental Health of Children and Young People
- Forthcoming Statistical Releases
1. Small Area Population estimates: Mid-2014
The Office for National Statistics has published latest population estimates for small areas, including electoral wards, output areas (OAs, LSOAs and MSOAs) and National Parks, by age and sex. The estimates are based on the 2011 Census and are updated annually using a range of administrative data sources. The latest release relates to mid-2014: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/sape/small-area-population-estimates/mid-2014-and-mid-2013/index.html
The estimates can be useful in service planning and for calculating a range of rates and indicators. The figures also reveal:
- Of Somerset’s 138 wards electoral wards, 89 have seen a population increase since the 2011 Census and 47 have seen a decline, of which two-thirds are rural wards.
- There are now nine wards in Somerset where at least one-in-three of the population are aged 65 or over.
- One-in-three people (33%) in Exmoor National Park are aged 65 or over, the highest proportion of any national park.
2. Local Authority Council Tax base
There are now a total of 249,183 dwellings in Somerset (as at October 2015), an increase of 2,572 on the number of dwellings recorded a year earlier, according to figures from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). Of these dwellings, 245,494 are liable for council tax.
The figures indicate that numbers of empty dwellings in Somerset have declined over the last year (from 5,972 to 5,576), as have numbers of second homes (from 3,114 to 3,087). One third of second homes in Somerset are located in West Somerset, with the district continuing to have one of the highest rates in the country.
3. Health Expectancies and Inequalities
Males in the least deprived parts of Somerset can expect to live 4.2 years longer than those in the most deprived parts, while females can expect to live 2.5 years longer, according to new small area (MSOA) life expectancy at birth estimates. The figures cover the period 2009 to 2013 and are modelled on the recently updated Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD).
The number of years a Somerset resident can expect to live in good health (‘Healthy Life Expectancy’) is 65.6 years overall for males and 67.1 years for females. The level of inequality between those living in the most and least deprived parts of the county is 8.9 years for males and 8.0 years for females, much greater than the inequality in life expectancy.
For the full dataset, see: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/re-reference-tables.html?edition=tcm%3A77-417115
4. Free School Meals: Progression to Higher Education
Pupils who receive Free School Meals (FSM) in Somerset are much less likely than their national counterparts to progress to Higher Education, according to latest figures from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS): www.gov.uk/government/statistics/free-school-meals-pupil-progression-to-higher-education
An estimated 12% of Somerset maintained school pupils who received Free School Meals (FSM) at age 15 entered Higher Education by age 19 in 2012/13. This compared to 23% in England as a whole. For non-FSM pupils, 32% of Somerset and 40% of England pupils progressed into HE.
Since comparable figures were first published in 2006/07, the ‘gap’ between FSM and non-FSM pupils in Somerset entering Higher Education has consistently been between 19 and 22 percentage points. Nationally, the gap has declined marginally, from 19 to 17 percentage points.
5. Childhood Obesity
Levels of child obesity in Somerset have declined in Reception Year (ages 4-5) but increased in Year 6 (ages 10-11) according to annual figures from the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP): www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB19109
In 2014/15, 9.0% of Reception children and 17.0% of Year 6 children in Somerset were measured as obese. This compared to 9.4% and 16.4% respectively in 2013/14. Levels of obesity in Somerset now exceed the South West average at both Reception and Year 6 but remain below national averages.
6. Business Births and Deaths
The number of active enterprises in Somerset increased for the second year running in 2014 according to new business demography figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). There were a total of 21,500 active enterprises in the county in 2014, up from 21,080 in 2013.
There were 2,275 ‘births’ of new enterprises in Somerset in 2014, and 1,845 business ‘deaths’. The number of births was marginally lower in 2014 than in 2013, while the number of deaths was marginally higher.
Business survival rates in Somerset continue to exceed the national average. Of businesses started in Somerset in 2009, 44.0% were still active five-years later (in 2014), compared to 41.8% of enterprises in England as a whole.
For the full dataset, see: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/bus-register/business-demography/2014/index.html
7. Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings
Median gross weekly earnings for full-time employees living in Somerset fell by 2.0% to £479 in 2015 according to provisional estimates from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE).
The equivalent earnings figure for people employed within Somerset (based on Place of Work rather than Place of Residence) was lower, at £467, suggesting a ‘leakage’ of Somerset workers to higher value jobs outside the county.
In terms of Somerset residents, the distribution of earnings sees the bottom 10% of full-time employees earn less than £288 per week. At the other end of the distribution, the top 10% of full-time employees earn more than £971 per week.
For the full dataset, see: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/ashe/annual-survey-of-hours-and-earnings/2015-provisional-results/index.html
8. Excess Winter Deaths
The number of excess winter deaths was around 38% lower in Somerset in 2013/14 than the previous winter according to estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This was in line with declines seen nationally (44%)
While local authority estimates for the 2014/15 winter period will not be published until the end of next year, provisional figures suggest that excess winter deaths in England as a whole in 2014/15 were at their highest level since 1999/00.
For further details, including the definition of excess winter mortality, see: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/subnational-health2/excess-winter-mortality-in-england-and-wales/2014-15--provisional--and-2013-14--final-/index.html
9. Housing Benefit and Spare Room Subsidy caseloads
The number of Housing Benefit claimants in Somerset is at its lowest level since November 2010 in latest figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). There were 34,069 claimants in August 2015, down from a peak of 36,662 in January 2013.
A total of 2,396 claimants in August 2014 received reduced Housing Benefit as a result of the Spare Room Subsidy Reduction (also referred to as the ‘bedroom tax’). This represents a 4% reduction on the number affected at the same time a year earlier - likely to be linked, at least in part, to downsizing.
10. Traveller Caravan Count
The number of traveller caravans in Somerset has increased to 534 in the latest (July 2015) six-monthly count published by the Department for Communities and Local Government, representing the highest figure since January 2012. Mendip and Taunton Deane districts continue to account for the great majority of caravans (50% and 31% of the total respectively).
Of the 534 traveller caravans in Somerset in July 2015, 99 were on authorised socially-rented sites, 298 on authorised privately-financed sites and 137 on unauthorised sites.
11. Consultation on Survey of Mental Health of Children and Young People
NatCen Social Research and the Office for National Statistics have been commissioned by the Health and Social Care Information Centre to carry out a Survey of the Mental Health of Children and Young People for 2016.
An equivalent survey was last conducted in 2004. The survey will provide data on the prevalence of mental illness among children and young people nationally and collect robust data on a range of topics relating to the mental health of these groups.
For further details, see: www.natcen.ac.uk/taking-part/studies-in-field/mental-health-of-children-and-young-people-2016/
12. Forthcoming Statistical Releases
The following are due for release at sub-regional geographies during December:
- Sub-National Tourism, A spatial classification of areas in England and Wales to show the importance of tourism, at county and unitary authority level, 2011 to 2013 (ONS)
- 2012-based Household Projections - England: Stage 2 (Household Types) and National Variants (DCLG)
- Statutory homelessness, England: July to September 2015 (DCLG)
- Sub-national electricity consumption during 2014 (DECC)
- Sub-national gas consumption during 2014 (DECC)
And finally ...
- If you have any news or articles you’d like to share
- If any of the links in this newsletter don’t work
- If you would like to unsubscribe from the SINePost email alert
Please email TXAtkins@somerset.gov.uk