SINePost newsletter - December 2016
In this issue ...
- Vibrant Economy Index
- Somerset: Facts & Figures digest
- Population Estimates Research
- Destinations of Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 pupils
- Business Births and Deaths
- Economic Factsheets
- Universal Credit and JSA claimants
- Excess Winter Deaths
- Blue Badge statistics
- Mental Health Bulletin
- What’s New on the Somerset Intelligence website?
- Forthcoming Statistical Releases
- Christmas (dinner) facts and figures!
1. Vibrant Economy Index
Mendip has the most ‘vibrant’ economy in Somerset according to a new index developed and published by Grant Thornton UK. The national index ranks places according to ‘whether businesses, communities and individuals can thrive’. Typical prosperity indicators are considered alongside: dynamism and opportunity; inclusion and equality; health, wellbeing and happiness; resilience and sustainability; and community, trust and belonging.
Mendip is ranked as the 132nd most vibrant of 324 local authority areas in England, followed by South Somerset (ranked 152nd), Taunton Deane (175th), Sedgemoor (253rd) and West Somerset (301st).
In terms of individual themes within the index, South Somerset is ranked best in Somerset for ‘prosperity’, ‘resilience’ and ‘well-being’; Mendip is ranked highest for ‘dynamism’ and ‘community’; and Taunton Deane is best for ‘inclusion and equality’.
2. Somerset: Facts & Figures digest
A new digest of facts and figures on Somerset has been added to the Somerset Intelligence website. Based on a variety of national, regional and local data sources, the new page (also available as a PDF download) provides a taster of the more comprehensive range of information found elsewhere on the Somerset Intelligence website. It is intended that the figures will be updated on an annual basis.
3. Population Estimates Research
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published early research into using linked administrative data to estimate local population sizes; part of its investigations into the feasibility of moving to a national Census based on administrative data after 2021.They are not classed as official statistics. See: www.ons.gov.uk/census/censustransformationprogramme
For Somerset, the estimates are slightly higher than the respective 2011 Census and 2015 Mid-Year Estimates (MYEs). Further research outputs are in the pipeline, including estimating numbers of households and families.
Meanwhile, the ONS is reviewing of its methods for obtaining high-age population estimates. With increasing numbers of people living to very old ages (90 and over) there is growing need to obtain accurate estimates of population numbers and mortality rates by single year of age at these ages. See: www.ons.gov.uk/releases/accuracyofofficialhighagepopulationestimatesanevaluation
4. Destinations of Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 pupils
The proportion of Somerset young people going into sustained education, training or employment after Key Stage 4 increased to 94% in 2014/15, up 2 percentage points from the previous year, according to figures from the Department for Education. This was the same proportion as reported for England as a whole.
Disadvantaged students (those attracting the pupil premium) continue to be less likely to progress than their peers: 87% of disadvantaged students in Somerset were recorded in a sustained education or employment/training destination after Key Stage 4, compared to 96% for all other students.
The proportion of Somerset young people going into sustained education, employment or training the year after Key Stage 5 was 88%, again, equivalent to the England average. The proportion of Somerset young people specifically going into an education setting was below the national average (58% compared to 65% nationally).
Overall, 39% of students from state-funded mainstream schools and colleges in Somerset went to a higher education institution in 2014/15, well below the national proportion of 48%.
5. Business Births and Deaths
In 2015, the number of business ‘births’ in Somerset was up, the number of business ‘deaths’ was down, while business survival rates were above the national average, according to new business demography statistics from the Office for National Statistics.
- The number of active enterprises in Somerset rose by 445 between 2014 and 2015 to 21,945, a rise of 2.1%. This compared to a national rise of 4.7%. The number of active enterprises in the county has now returned to pre-recession levels.
- West Somerset was the only district in Somerset to see a fall in numbers of active enterprises between 2014 and 2015.
- There were 2,370 business births in Somerset in 2015, a birth rate of 10.8%. This compared to a UK average of 14.3%.
- There were 1,815 business deaths in Somerset in 2015; 8.3% of the total active enterprises in the county. This was a lower rate than the UK average (9.4%).
6. Economic Factsheets
A range of economic factsheets, hosted on the Somerset Intelligence website, have now been updated and refreshed, covering:
Latest headlines include:
- Unemployment in Somerset stood at 3.9% in June 2016, lower than the Heart of the South West LEP area (4.0%) and the UK as a whole (5.2%).
- Somerset’s unemployment rate has fallen over the last year (by 0.7 percentage points).
- Available data shows that Mendip has the highest unemployment rate of all Somerset districts (5.7%).
7. Universal Credit and JSA claimants
The Office for National Statistics has revised its monthly out-of-work ‘Claimant Count’ figures going back to December 2014, as part of an ongoing development of the statistics. The figures now include claimants to ‘Full’ (digital) Universal Credit, in additional to the ‘Live’ (non-digital) service and Job-seekers Allowance (JSA) claimants.
The ONS have advised that until all claimants have been transferred into the Full Service, it is unlikely that there will be reliable statistics relating to claimant flows or durations. See: www.nomisweb.co.uk/articles/987.aspx
In October 2016, the number of out-of-work Universal Credit claimants in Somerset outnumbered the number of JSA claimants for the first time.
8. Excess Winter Deaths
There were 590 excess winter deaths in Somerset in 2014/15 according to estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This was more than double the estimate for the previous year, and in line with national increases.
Within the county, South Somerset had the highest Excess Winter Mortality ‘Index’, with 40% more deaths occurring in the winter period than the non-winter months.
While local authority estimates for the 2015/16 winter period will not be published until the end of next year, provisional figures suggest that excess winter deaths for England as a whole declined significantly in 2015/16 (following the uncommonly high numbers of deaths in 2014/15).
For further details, including the definition of excess winter mortality, see:
9. Blue Badge statistics
The number of individuals holding a Blue Badge parking permit in Somerset decreased by 3.4% to 30,800 in the year to March 2016. Nationally, the number of permit holders fell by 0.7%, with numbers declining each year since reforms of the Blue Badge application process in 2011/12.
Blue Badge holders in Somerset represent 5.6% of the county’s population, well above the national average of 4.3%. A total of 15,600 Somerset residents are estimated to be automatically entitled to a Blue Badge due to their disability (based on benefit, war pension and NHS registered blind data). Of these people, 64% actually hold a Blue Badge.
10. Mental Health Bulletin
An estimated 18,710 adults in Somerset used NHS-funded mental health and learning disabilities services at some point during 2015/16, according to figures published by NHS Digital: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/mental-health-bulletin-2015-annual-report
At a rate of 43 per 1,000 adult population (aged 18 or over), Somerset was in line with national usage rates. An estimated 5% of people in contact with adult mental health and learning disabilities services in Somerset spent time in hospital during 2015/16 (compared to 6% nationally).
11. What’s New on the Somerset Intelligence website?
The following content has been added or updated in the last month:
12. Forthcoming Statistical Releases
The following are due for release at sub-regional geographies during December:
- National Insurance number allocations to adult overseas nationals to September 2016 (DWP)
- Estimates of railway station usage: 2015 to 2016 (ORR)
- Social housing lettings in England: April 2015 to March 2016 (DCLG)
- Walking and cycling (DfT)
- Children looked after in England including adoption: 2015 to 2016 (DfE)
- Sub-national electricity and gas consumption during 2015 (DECC)
13. Christmas (dinner) facts and figures!
According to Department for Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) figures, 17 million turkeys were slaughtered in the UK in 2015, less than half the number 20 years ago (39.6 million). However, birds are becoming bigger: in October 2016 the average liveweight of turkeys at slaughter was 15kg, compared to 9.5kg 20 years ago.
A 2015 survey found that two-thirds of British people planned to have turkey for dinner at Christmas, with Christmas dinner costing an average of £20.19 per head, and taking an average of 3.3 hours to prepare.
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