SINePost newsletter - July 2017
In this issue ...
- Latest Population Estimates
- Migration estimates
- Council Tax: Stock of Properties statistics
- Homelessness statistics
- Fuel Poverty estimates
- House Price Statistics for Small Areas
- Progress on Administrative Data Census post-2021
- Smoking in Pregnancy statistics
- Greenhouse Gas Emissions estimates
- Road Transport Energy Consumption statistics
- Forthcoming Statistical Releases
1. Latest Population Estimates
Somerset’s population has increased by 4,057 to 549,447 in the latest annual estimate from the Office for National Statistics. Known as the ‘mid-year estimate’ (MYE), this represents an estimate of the population on 30th June 2016.
The annual increase in Somerset’s population (up 0.7%) was marginally below South West (0.8%) and England and Wales (0.9%) rates.
At a district level, Taunton Deane saw the biggest percentage increase (up 1.3% to 115,515), followed by Sedgemoor (up 1.0% to 121,436); Mendip (up 0.7% to 112,545) and South Somerset (up 0.4% to 165,645). West Somerset’s population fell (by 0.3% to 34,306) and remains below where it was a decade ago.
In the last ten years, the median age of Somerset’s population has increased from 43.0 years to 46.4 years. Taunton Deane consistently has the lowest median age and West Somerset the highest (with mid-2016 figures of 44.8 and 54.6 years respectively). For England and Wales as a whole, the median age is 39.9 years.
For the full dataset, see: www.ons.gov.uk/releases/populationestimatesforukenglandandwalesscotlandandnorthernirelandmid2016
2. Migration estimates
More people continue to move into Somerset than move out according to latest ‘internal’ migration estimates. In the year to June 2016 an estimated 3,896 more people moved into Somerset from elsewhere in the UK than moved out, the highest figure for nine years.
As a result, 87% of the overall population growth in Somerset is explained by internal migration from within the UK. International migration (that is, from outside the UK) accounted for 6% of population growth (a net increase of 286 people). The remaining growth is attributed to ‘other’ movements, e.g. armed forces personnel. Somerset’s increasing population is countered by ‘natural change’, with 424 fewer births than deaths in the county in the year to June 2016.
Somerset continues to see a net ‘inflow’ across most age groups, but with a key exception being the 18-20 age group. Amongst 18-20 year-olds, 2,100 more moved away than moved in, most commonly to the university cities of Cardiff, Plymouth, Bath and Bristol.
Overall, key migration into Somerset (across all age groups) is from neighbouring local authority areas: Bath and North East Somerset (a net inflow of 420 people in the year to June 2016), North Somerset (a net inflow of 410 people), and from Greater London (a net inflow of 470 people).
3. Council Tax: Stock of Properties statistics
The number of domestic properties in Somerset has increased to 253,640 in latest annual statistics from the Valuation Office Agency (as at 31 March 2017). This represents an increase of 1.1% (2,800 properties) on the previous year’s figure.
Numbers of detached houses in the county increased by 840, semi-detached properties by 580, terraced properties by 580, flats/maisonettes by 470 and bungalows by 100. In terms of property size, the largest increases were seen in dwellings with four (or more) bedrooms.
In line with overall population increases, the biggest increases in housing stock were seen in Taunton Deane (up 1.8%) and Sedgemoor (up 1.1%).
4. Homelessness statistics
Local authorities in Somerset received 751 homelessness applications during 2016/17 according to figures published by the Department for Communities and Local Government, an increase of 8% on the 2015/16 figure.
A total of 421 households were accepted as statutorily homeless during 2016/17 (representing 56% of all homelessness applications). This was 14% more homelessness acceptances than during 2015/16. South Somerset and Taunton Deane saw the highest rates of acceptances (2.48 and 2.37 per 1,000 households respectively) and Mendip the lowest (0.60 per 1,000) households. The national rate was 2.54 (or 2.09 per 1,000 outside London).
A total of 1,465 Somerset households were prevented from becoming homeless during 2016/17 through positive action by local authorities (that is, action outside the homelessness statutory framework). This compared to 1,424 households during 2015/16.
An additional 198 cases of homelessness ‘relief’ were recorded in 2016/17 (where an authority was unable to prevent homelessness but helped secure alternative accommodation). This was an increase on the 109 cases during 2015/16.
5. Fuel Poverty estimates
The number of Somerset households living in fuel poverty has declined in latest estimates from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The new (2015-based) estimate of 27,637 households represents a reduction of around 2,000 households on the previous year’s figure. At a rate of 11.6% of all households, fuel poverty in Somerset remains above the national average (of 11.0% in 2015).
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 (13.6% of households) and Taunton Deane the lowest (10.5%). Rates vary considerably at local level. The individual areas with the highest rates in 2015 were the area surrounding Frome, Porlock & District, and parts of the Quantocks.
6. House Price Statistics for Small Areas
The Office for National Statistics has published its latest ‘small area’ data on house prices and sales, covering electoral wards and Middle-layer Super Output Areas (MSOAs): www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/housing/bulletins
In 2016, the median price paid within Somerset’s neighbourhoods (MSOAs) ranged from £127,000 (in part of Bridgwater, based on 75 sales) to £396,000 (in the Wedmore area of Sedgemoor, based on 80 sales). Compared to 2015, the median price paid for residential property increased in 56 neighbourhoods and declined in 14 neighbourhoods.
Overall, the number of residential property sales in Somerset in 2016 was at its highest level since 2007.
7. Progress on Administrative Data Census post-2021
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published its latest annual assessment of progress towards an ‘administrative’ national census beyond 2021, based on existing sources such as health, GP, tax, benefits and education databases.
Despite some challenges (for example, limited information on families and relationships held in administrative data sources) the ONS report a number of new opportunities, including producing census outputs on a more timely and frequent basis, and producing new outputs that aren’t available through the current approach (such as personal income) that may better meet user needs.
8. Smoking in Pregnancy statistics
The proportion of pregnant women in Somerset known to be smokers at the time of delivery continues to decline, in national figures published by NHS Digital: www.content.digital.nhs.uk/catalogue/PUB24222
A total of 679 women in Somerset were recorded as smokers in the year to March 2017, representing 13.0% of all maternities. This proportion has declined from 17.4% in the last four years. Rates in Somerset remain above the national average (of 10.5% in 2016/17).
The national ‘ambition’ is 11% of maternities, with NHS Digital reporting that 104 of 209 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) were below this benchmark in 2016/17.
Further information about smoking and tobacco control in Somerset is available on the Somerset Intelligence website: www.somersetintelligence.org.uk/smoking.html
9. Greenhouse Gas Emissions estimates
The rate of carbon dioxide emissions in Somerset continues to fall according to annual estimates from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/uk-local-authority-and-regional-carbon-dioxide-emissions-national-statistics-2005-2015
Overall carbon dioxide emissions in Somerset have steadily declined from 8.0 tonnes per person in 2005 to 5.7 tonnes per person in 2015 (mirroring a national downward trend). The latest annual fall is largely attributable to declining electricity use, both in industrial and domestic settings.
Around 39% of emissions in Somerset in 2015 related to industry and commerce, 34% to transport and 28% to domestic energy use.
10. Road Transport Energy Consumption statistics
Total energy consumption due to road transport within Somerset increased by 2.6% to 426,250 tonnes of oil equivalent (‘toe’) in annual figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for 2015. The UK average increase was 1.1%. Two-thirds (66%) of consumption in Somerset was due to personal use and one-third (34%) due to freight.
The increase in Somerset was largely due to freight, with energy consumption up 6%. Consumption due to diesel cars increased by 6% while consumption due to petrol cars declined by 3% overall. Overall figures for buses declined by 9%.
11. Forthcoming Statistical Releases
The following are due for release at sub-regional geographies during July:
- 2017 Local Health Profiles (PHE)
- Pregnancy and birth profiles: 2017 update (PHE)
- Breastfeeding at 6 to 8 weeks after birth 2016 to 2017 (PHE)
- Female Genital Mutilation Apr 2016 to Mar 2017 (NHS Digital)
- Birth summary tables in England and Wales: 2016 (ONS)
- Permanent and fixed-period exclusions from schools: 2015 to 2016 (DfE)
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