1. Household Projections by type of household
The Office for National Statistics has published household projections based on the composition of households, from 2016 to 2041, following an initial data release in September. Household projections show the number of households there would be if a set of assumptions based on previous demographic trends in population – births, deaths and migration – and household formation were to be realised in practice.
Headlines from the latest projections include:
- The number of one-person households in Somerset is projected to increase by 33% between 2016 and 2041. This compares to a projected 26% increase for England as a whole.
- The number of households with dependent children is projected to remain broadly similar between 2016 and 2041 (mirroring national projections).
- Almost all the projected increase in households by 2041 will be among one-person and multiple adult households without dependent children.
For the full dataset, see: www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationprojections
2. Council tax statistics: Numbers of properties
The number of residential properties in Somerset increased by 2,380 to a total of 256,020 in the year to 31 March 2018, according to the latest annual snapshot from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).
One-bedroom properties accounted for 11% of the annual increase (an extra 250 properties), two-bedroom properties accounted for 21% of the increase (500 properties) and three or more-bedroom properties accounted for 60% (1,430 properties). The remaining properties were caravans/mobile homes or the details were unknown.
In total, on 31 March 2018, there were 22,340 one-bedroom dwellings in Somerset, 68,520 two-bedroom dwellings, 107,460 three-bedroom dwellings, and 46,500 dwellings with four or more bedrooms.
West Somerset continues to have the oldest housing stock in Somerset, with 27% of current dwellings built before the year 1900. Sedgemoor and Taunton Deane have the lowest proportions of pre-1900 properties, at 17%.
Note that a count of properties is not the same as a count of ‘households’ because at any point in time some properties will be unoccupied.
For the full dataset, see: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/council-tax-stock-of-properties-2018
3. Excess Winter Mortality
There were 420 excess winter deaths in Somerset in 2016/17 according to estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This was an increase of 100 deaths on the 2015/16 estimate, mirroring a national increase.
Within Somerset, Taunton Deane had the highest Excess Winter Mortality (EWM) ‘Index’; with 34% more deaths occurring in the winter period than the non-winter months. Mendip had the second highest EWM Index (at 27%), followed by South Somerset (18%), Sedgemoor (14%) and West Somerset (13%).
While local authority estimates for the 2017/18 winter period will not be published by the ONS until the end of 2019, provisional figures suggest that excess winter deaths for England as a whole increased by 45% (15,570 people) in 2017/18, representing the highest number of excess winter deaths since winter 1975/76. The predominant strain of flu, the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine and below-average winter temperatures are thought to be behind the increase.
For further details, including the definition of excess winter mortality, see: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/announcements/excess-winter-mortality-in-england-and-wales-2017-to-2018-provisional-and-2016-to-2017-final
4. National Minimum Wage/National Living Wage statistics
There are 16,800 workers in Somerset on the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage (NMW/NLW), representing approximately 7% of the workforce, according to estimates from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). This proportion is in line with the national average.
Information is published at parliamentary constituency level, indicating that the Somerton and Frome constituency and the Yeovil constituency have the lowest proportion of people on NMW/NLW in Somerset, at 6%. The Wells constituency and the Bridgwater and West Somerset constituency have the highest proportions, at 9%.
Nationally, rates vary from 1% (within several London constituencies and in the South East) to 21% (in Newcastle upon Tyne Central).
5. Business Births and Deaths
The number of active enterprises in Somerset has increased in the latest annual business demography statistics published by the Office for National Statistics (for 2017):
- The number of active enterprises in Somerset increased by 180 in 2017 to a total of 22,540, a rise of 1%. This compared to a national rise of 3%.
- In 2017, there were 2,125 business ‘births’ (start-ups) in Somerset, a birth rate of 9.4%. This compared to a UK average birth rate of 13.1%.
- There were 2,185 business ‘deaths’ (closures) in Somerset in 2017, representing 9.7% of the total active enterprises in the county. This was a lower rate than the UK average (12.2%).
- Business survival rates in Somerset remain above the national average: 46% of enterprises started in Somerset in 2012 were still operating in 2017, compared to 43% of enterprises nationally.
6. Density of Fast Food Outlets
The Local Government Association (LGA) has published information on numbers and rates of fast food outlets, using data provided by Public Health England from Food Standards Agency and Food Hygiene Rating Scheme data:
The data indicates that in December 2017 there were a total of 394 fast food outlets in Somerset. The highest rate of outlets per head of population was in Sedgemoor (88 per 100,000) and the lowest rate was in Mendip (58 per 100,000 people). The South West average rate was 77 per 100,000.
At a ward level, highest numbers of outlets were in Yeovil Central (30 outlets), Bridgwater Eastover (20) and Bridgwater Westover (20). A total of 54 Somerset wards had no fast food outlets.
7. Fly-tipping statistics
The total number of fly-tipping incidents recorded by local authorities in Somerset has declined to its lowest level since 2010/11, in annual figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra): www.gov.uk/government/statistics/fly-tipping-in-england
There were 4,628 fly-tipping incidents recorded in 2017/18, compared to 4,889 in 2016/17, representing a fall of 5%. Nationally, fly-tipping incidences declined by 1% over the same period.
At a district level, Mendip continues to have the highest rate of recorded fly-tipping incidences, with 15 per 1,000 population. Sedgemoor had the next highest rate (10 per 1,000 population), followed by South Somerset (6 per 1,000), Taunton Deane (5 per 1,000) and West Somerset (3 per 1,000).
Over half of incidents in Somerset (62%) involved household waste (comprising black bags or other household waste incidents). Consistent with previous years, the most common place for fly-tipping to occur was on highways (82% of incidences).
8. Blue Badge scheme statistics
The number of individuals holding a Blue Badge disabled parking permit in Somerset decreased by 2% to 29,400 in the year to March 2017, according to figures issued by the Department for Transport. Numbers have been in general decline since reforms to the Blue Badge application process in 2011/12.
Blue Badge holders in Somerset represent 5.3% of the county’s population, well above the national average proportion of 4.2%.
The ratio of retired people to badge holders in Somerset is 4.7 to 1, compared to 4.4 to 1 for England as a whole. Overall, 25.0% of Somerset’s population is retired (that is, qualifying for state pension), representing the tenth highest rate of any local authority area in England.
9. Traveller Caravan Count
The number of traveller caravans located in Somerset increased marginally in the latest six-monthly count published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/traveller-caravan-count-july-2018
In July 2018 there were an estimated 570 traveller caravans located in Somerset, compared to 537 caravans at the same time in 2017, and 542 caravans in July 2016.
At a district level, Mendip accounted for nearly half (49%) of traveller caravans, with Taunton Deane the next most common location (23% of caravans).
10. What’s New on the Somerset Intelligence website?
New and updated content in the last month includes:
11. Forthcoming Statistical Releases
The following datasets are due for release during December:
- Characteristics of children in need: 2017 to 2018 (DfE)
- School-age children profiles: 2018 update (PHE)
- Young people profiles: 2018 update (PHE)
- Children in out-of-work benefit households: 31 May 2017 (DWP)
- Sub-national electricity consumption during 2017 (DBEIS)
- Suicide prevention profile: December 2018 update (PHE)
- Local Alcohol Profiles for England: December 2018 data update (PHE)