SINePost newsletter - December 2020
In this issue:
- Small Area Population Estimates
- Council Tax Stock of Properties count
- Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings results
- Life expectancy estimates
- Healthy Pregnancy Indicators
- Child Obesity statistics
- Road Accidents statistics
- Suicide statistics
- Excess Winter Mortality
- Hate crime statistics
- Forthcoming Statistical Releases
1. Small Area Population Estimates
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published latest population estimates for small areas, including electoral wards, output areas (OAs, LSOAs, MSOAs) and National Parks, by age and sex. The figures relate to the estimated usual resident population on 30 June 2019 (‘mid-2019’) and can be useful for service planning and as denominators for the calculation of local rates and indicators:
The figures continue to demonstrate wide variations in age structure across the county. For example, the proportion of the local population aged 75 years or over ranges from 5% in Bridgwater Victoria ward to 25% in Minehead North ward. The proportion of the population who are children (aged 0-15) ranges from 10% in Minehead North to 24% in West Monkton & Cheddon Fitzpaine.
The largest electoral ward (by population) in Somerset is currently North Petherton (9,814 residents) and the smallest is Glastonbury St Mary’s (1,971 residents).
For further analysis of Somerset’s population, see the Somerset Intelligence website: www.somersetintelligence.org.uk/population-estimates/
2. Council Tax Stock of Properties count
At the end of March 2020, there were a total of 260,490 domestic properties in Somerset, according to the Valuation Office Agency’s (VOA) administrative database. This represented an increase of 2,340 properties at the same point a year earlier.
Sedgemoor continues to have the highest proportion of properties in the lowest Council Tax Band (A), accounting for around a quarter (24.0%) of all properties in the district (compared to 14%-16% in all other districts).
Meanwhile, Mendip has the highest proportion of properties in the higher Council Tax Bands (F, G and H), accounting for 10.3% of all properties.
Note that this count is not the same as a statistical count of ‘households’, as some properties may be empty, or second homes.
3. Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings results
Median gross weekly earnings for full-time employees living in Somerset declined by 4.9% to £539 in 2020, in provisional estimates from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE). The equivalent earnings figure for people working in Somerset (based on ‘place of work’ rather than ‘place of residence’) was lower, at £526, suggesting a leakage of Somerset workers to higher value jobs outside the county.
For Somerset residents, the distribution of earnings in 2020 saw the bottom 20% of full-time employees earn less than £389 per week. At the other end of the distribution, the top 20% of full-time employees earned more than £801 per week.
In 2020 the gender pay gap (based on average gross hourly earnings) for full-time employees was 4.4% for Somerset residents, compared to a UK average of 7.4%. It may be noted that these figures do not show differences in rates of pay for comparable jobs but are affected by factors such as the proportion of men and women in different types of occupations.
For the full dataset, see: www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/
4. Life expectancy estimates
Life expectancies for both males and females in Somerset remain about a year higher than UK averages in latest figures published by the Office for National Statistics.
In the period 2017 to 2019, males in Somerset had a life expectancy of 80.5 years at birth while females had a life expectancy of 84.5 years. Compared to the 2012-14 period, female life expectancy at birth has increased by 0.3 years, while male life expectancy is unchanged.
For the full dataset, see:
5. Healthy Pregnancy Indicators
Public Health England has published new indicators providing information about the health of mothers in early pregnancy, based on 2018/19 data:
Somerset performs better than, or similar to, the national average in the respect of the majority of healthy pregnancy indicators, including: the under 18s conception rate; the proportion of women taking folic acid supplements; rates of caesarean section; and the percentage of babies whose first feed is breastmilk.
Somerset performs worse than the national average in respect of: obesity in early pregnancy; smoking in early pregnancy; smoking status at time of delivery; and emergency hospital admissions for babies under 14 days.
6. Child Obesity statistics
Somerset has seen an increase in child obesity in Reception-age children but a decrease in Year 6 children according to latest annual results from the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP). Nationally there were increases in respect of both groups.
In summary, for the 2019/20 school year:
- In Reception Year (age 4-5 years), 10.2% of Somerset children measured were obese. This percentage was marginally above the England average (of 9.9%).
- In Year 6 (age 10-11 years), 17.2% of Somerset children were obese, below the national average of 21.0%.
- In Reception Year, 2.5% of Somerset children were recorded as severely obese (in line with the national average). In Year 6, 3.0% of Somerset children were severely obese (compared to 4.7% nationally).
Nationally, analysis showed that obesity prevalence for children living in the most deprived areas was more than double that of those living in the least deprived areas.
It may be noted that the impacts of school closures in March 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic had a significant impact on data collection in some local authority areas.
For the full dataset, see: https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/national-child-measurement-programme/2019-20-school-year
7. Road Accidents statistics
Numbers of road accidents in Somerset increased marginally in 2019 according to annual figures from the Department for Transport:
There were a total of 994 reported road accidents in the county during 2019. This compared to 973 accidents in 2018 and 1,000 accidents in 2017.
Of the 994 accidents in 2019, a total of 22 were fatal (one fewer than in 2018). In terms of road class, 3% were on the motorway, 48% on A-roads, and 49% on minor roads.
In terms of road surface condition, 70% of accidents were on dry roads, 28% were on wet or flooded roads, and 2% on snow or ice.
8. Suicide statistics
The Office for National Statistics has published latest annual statistics on registered deaths from suicide:
- In 2019, there were 73 suicides registered in Somerset. This compared to 65 suicides in 2018 and 48 suicides in 2017.
- Between 2017 and 2019 the age-standardised suicide rate in Somerset was 13.1 per 100,000 population. At a district level, the highest rate was in Somerset West and Taunton (14.9 per 100,000) and the lowest in Mendip (8.5 per 100,000). Nationally, the rate was 10.1 per 100,000.
- Nationally, around three-quarters of registered suicide deaths in 2019 were among men, which has been the case since the mid-1990s.
9. Excess Winter Mortality
There were 300 excess winter deaths in Somerset in 2018/19 according to estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This represented a decline of 240 deaths on the 2017/18 figure, mirroring a national fall.
Within Somerset, Sedgemoor had the highest Excess Winter Mortality (EWM) ‘Index’; with 23% more deaths occurring in the winter period than the non-winter months. South Somerset had the second highest EWM Index (at 20%), followed by Somerset West and Taunton (17%) and Mendip (2%).
While local authority estimates for the 2019/20 winter period will not be published by the ONS until the end of 2021, provisional figures suggest that excess winter deaths for England as a whole increased by 20% in 2019/20. Deaths where the coronavirus was mentioned on the death certificate have been excluded from the main figures reported, to improve comparability of figures with previous years.
For further details, including the definition of excess winter mortality, see: www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths
10. Hate crime statistics
Numbers of hate crime offences recorded in the Avon and Somerset police force area have increased in latest annual figures from the Home Office. There were a total of 3,134 offences recorded during 2019/20, representing a 6% increase on the 2,961 offences in 2018/19. Nationally, reported hate crime increased by 8%.
Most hate crime in Avon and Somerset in 2018/19 continued to be motivated by race (68%), with sexual orientation (14%) the next most common motivating factor, followed by disability (10%), religion (6%) and transgender (2%).
11. Forthcoming Statistical Releases
The following are due for release at sub-regional geographies during December:
- Looked-after children in England, year ending 31 March 2020 (DfE)
- National General Practice Profiles (PHE)
- House price statistics for small areas in England and Wales: year ending June 2020 (ONS)
- Individual Insolvencies by Location, Age and Gender, England and Wales, 2019 (The Insolvency Service)
- Estimates of railway station usage: 2019 to 2020 (ORR)
- Taxi and private hire vehicle statistics, England: 2020 (DfT)
- Sub-national electricity consumption during 2019 (DBEIS)
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