SINePost newsletter - March 2014
In this issue ...
- The Value of Tourism
- Teenage Pregnancy
- Premature Mortality
- Local Tobacco Profiles
- Children in Poverty
- Housing Benefit flows
- Rough Sleeping
- Dwelling Stock estimates
- Local Adult Reoffending
- Impact of Commuting on Personal Well-being
- Forthcoming Statistical Releases
1. The Value of Tourism
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published estimates of the economic value of tourism, at regional and local levels, for the year 2011: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/tourism/sub-national-tourism/the-regional-value-of-tourism-2011/rpt-subreg2011.html#tab-conclusions
The figures indicate that visitors to Somerset spent an estimated £914 million in 2011. Within the South West region, Somerset ranked 4th in terms of visitor expenditure, behind Cornwall and Isles of Scilly (£2,548m), Devon (£1,730m) and Dorset (£1,052m). Just over half (52%) of expenditure in Somerset related to day visits, around a third (33%) to overnight visits and around 8% to visitors from overseas.
The ‘Value of Tourism’ analysis was previously conducted in (pre-recession) 2008, at which time expenditure in Somerset was an estimated £123m higher, at £1,037m.
2. Teenage Pregnancy
The number of Under 18 conceptions in Somerset declined for the fifth year running in 2012 according to figures from the ONS. There were 244 conceptions to women aged under 18 in Somerset in 2012, down from 284 conceptions in 2011, and down from 385 conceptions in 2007: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/re-reference-tables.html?edition=tcm%3A77-332828
Somerset’s current Under 18 conception rate of 24.4 conceptions per 1,000 women remains broadly in line with the South West regional average (24.8 per 1,000 women) and below the national average (27.7 per 1,000 women).
3. Premature Mortality
Public Health England has updated its Longer Lives Project website to include mortality rates for 2010-12. Longer Lives highlights premature mortality (that is, death under the age of 75) across every local authority in England: http://longerlives.phe.org.uk/
According to the latest dataset, there were an estimated 4,479 premature deaths in Somerset in the three year period 2010 to 2012. This represents a rate of 297 per 100,000 population, and places Somerset as 19th ‘best’ of 150 local authorities nationally.
In terms of major causes of death, Somerset performs 8th ‘best’ for premature death from lung disease; 10th best for heart disease and stroke; 19th best for liver disease; and 39th best for cancer.
4. Local Tobacco Profiles
The latest Local Tobacco Control Profiles for England provide a snapshot of the extent of tobacco use, tobacco related harm, and measures being taken to reduce harm at a local level: http://www.tobaccoprofiles.info/
Somerset performs better than the national benchmark in respect of most of the indicators in the profile, with the continued exception of smoking in pregnancy (at time of delivery). Overall, an estimated 17.4% of adults aged 18 or over in Somerset smoke, compared to 19.5% nationally. However, in terms of pregnancy, 17.4% of mothers-to-be in Somerset smoke, compared to 12.7% nationally.
5. Children in Poverty
Around 13,780 children in Somerset are considered to be living in poverty according to the latest annual snapshot published by the DWP (as of 1st August 2011). The proxy measure identifies the number of children living in families in receipt of out-of-work benefits or in receipt of tax credits where their reported income is less than 60% of UK median income: www.gov.uk/government/publications/personal-tax-credits-children-in-low-income-families-local-measure
The proportion of Somerset children (aged under 16) in poverty in 2011 was 14.9%, which was unchanged from the previous year’s figure.
The areas with the highest proportions of children in poverty are consistently in urban areas; including pockets of Bridgwater, Taunton, Glastonbury and Highbridge. However, the areas with the largest percentage point increases in child poverty levels between 2010 and 2011 were predominantly rural.
6. Housing Benefit flows
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has published the latest in a series of experimental statistics on the numbers of people beginning and ending a Housing Benefit claim each month: www.gov.uk/government/publications/experimental-housing-benefit-and-council-tax-benefit-flows-data-november-2008-to-present
Between January and November 2013, an average of around 1,000 people in Somerset began a Housing Benefit claim each month, while around 1,100 people ended a claim.
The number of Housing Benefit claimants in Somerset is declining for the first time in six years. Historically, the overall number of claimants in Somerset rose steadily from 28,940 in November 2008 to recent peak of 36,622 in January 2013, since when there has been a marginal decline to 35,653.
7. Rough Sleeping
The number of people sleeping rough in Somerset is declining according to latest annual estimates published by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG): www.gov.uk/government/publications/rough-sleeping-in-england-autumn-2013
Local authorities in Somerset estimated the number of rough sleepers in 2013 to be 28 (as of autumn that year). This compares to 40 in 2012 and 64 in 2011. More than half of rough sleepers in Somerset in 2013 were within Mendip.
Nationally, the number of rough sleepers increased (by 5%) between 2012 and 2013.
8. Dwelling Stock estimates
The number of dwellings in Somerset increased by 1,890 in 2013 compared to 2012 according to the latest annual snapshot (as of 31st March) from the DCLG. This represented the second smallest net annual increase since estimates were first published in 2004/05: www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-dwelling-stock-including-vacants
There are now an estimated 243,810 dwellings in the county. The number of dwellings exceeds the number of ‘households’; largely due to vacant properties and second homes. Latest figures indicate 7,775 vacant properties in the county, of which 2,609 are long-term vacant. Additionally, there are an estimated 19,542 people with a second address in one of Somerset’s districts who usually reside elsewhere (source: 2011 Census).
9. Local Adult Reoffending
Reoffending in Somerset has declined according to figures published by the Department for Justice (MoJ). Between October 2012 and September 2013, around 11.1% of adults on the probation service’s caseload in Somerset reoffended, down from 12.8% a year earlier: www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-adult-reoffending-october-2012-september-2013
Reoffending rates in Somerset have been consistently above predicted levels in recent years and are currently 6.9% higher than the MoJ’s ‘baseline’ 2006/07 measure (when this data series was initiated). Nationally, reoffending has declined by around 3.9% from its baseline figure over this period.
10. Impact of Commuting on Personal Well-being
The ONS has expanded its recent analysis of factors which impact on personal well-being by examining the relationship between people’s commuting patterns and their overall levels of well-being: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/wellbeing/measuring-national-well-being/commuting-and-personal-well-being--2014/index.html
- Holding all else equal, commuters have lower levels of happiness and higher anxiety in their lives than non-commuters.
- Commuting by car (or minibus or works van) is associated with lower levels of happiness and higher levels of anxiety when the commute is over 15 minutes. These negative effects increase as the journey time increases.
- By comparison, those travelling by public transport do not on average experience a loss of personal well-being unless their journey time is 30 minutes or more.
By way of context, according to the 2011 Census around 92% of workers in Somerset commute to work (with the remaining 8% working from home). Just over two-thirds (64%) usually drive, 14% walk, 5% are a passenger in a car, 4% cycle, and just 2% travel by bus.
11. Forthcoming Statistical Releases
The following datasets are due for release at sub-regional geographies during March:
- Child Health Profiles – 2014 (Public Health England)
- 2011 Census – Local and Detailed Characteristics on Travel to Work and Car or Van Availability for Local Authorities (ONS)
- 2011 Census - Detailed Characteristics on Approximated Social Grade for MSOA and 2011 Census Merged Wards (ONS)
- Pupil Absence in Schools in England - including pupil characteristics: 2012 to 2013 (DfE)
- Level 2 and 3 attainment by young people in England - measured using matched administrative: attainment by age 19 in 2013 (DfE)
- Gypsy and Traveller Caravan Count - January 2014 (DCLG)
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