1. SINePost Reader Survey
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2. Migrant Worker statistics
Following four successive years of increase the number of non-UK nationals registering for a National Insurance Number (NINo) in Somerset declined in 2017, in figures from the Department for Work and Pensions. There were 3,089 registrations in 2017, compared to 3,913 during 2016 (a fall of 21%).
Romania continued to be the most common country of origin, with 995 registrations in 2017, down from 1,224 during 2016. Polish nationals remained the second most common, with 579 registrations in 2017. Bulgarian (253 registrations), Portuguese (183 registrations) and Lithuanian (158) nationals were the next most common.
Nationally, numbers of registrations fell by 17% between 2016 and 2017.
Data are published through the Department for Work and Pension’s ‘Stat-Xplore’ tool: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/
3. Child Benefit statistics
In August 2017 there were 103,245 children (aged 0-19) in Somerset for which Child Benefit was being received, in figures released by HM Revenue & Customs. An additional 4,815 children had been ‘opted out’, following the introduction of the High Income Child Benefit Charge (HIBC).
Data are published by single year of age and family size and can act as a ‘real-time’ proxy for the child population. However, families that have chosen not to claim Child Benefit (due to the introduction of the HIBC) are excluded, meaning that this will be a less reliable picture over time.
Of the families in Somerset receiving Child Benefit, nearly half (46%) are currently one-child families; 39% have two children; and 15% have three children or more children.
At a small area level, the proportion of one-child families ranges from 37% (in the Brendon Hills ward) to 65% (in the Glastonbury St Benedict’s ward). The proportion of families with three or more children ranges from 8% (Glastonbury St Benedict’s ward) to 25% (Bridgwater Hamp ward).
4. Child Poverty
An estimated 12,150 children in Somerset (aged under 16) are considered to be living in poverty according to latest figures from HM Revenue & Customs. This equates 13.1% of all children, or 1 in 8 of the child population. Somerset’s rate is well below the England average of 16.8%.
The Children in Low-Income Families Local Measure considers the proportion of children living in families either in receipt of out-of-work benefits or in receipt of tax credits with a reported income which is less than 60% of national median income. It presents a broad proxy for the relative low-income measure as used in the Child Poverty Act 2010. The latest dataset is a snapshot as of 31st August 2015 (the time lag being due to reconciling of tax credit figures).
At a local level, Bridgwater Hamp ward sees the highest proportions of children in low-income families in Somerset (28% of the child population), followed by Glastonbury St Edmund’s (27%) and Chard Combe ward (26%).
5. Child Health Profile 2018
The latest child health profile from Public Health England presents a generally positive picture for Somerset, with the county performing in line with, or significantly better than, national benchmarks for the majority of child health and well-being indicators (for example, child mortality, obesity, under 18s conceptions and vaccination coverage).
Indicators where Somerset appears worse than the national average fall largely under a ‘prevention of ill health’ theme, with the county significantly worse for: hospital admissions caused by injuries; hospital admissions as a result of self-harm; and hospital admissions for mental health conditions. Hospital admissions data refer to episodes of admission and not persons. Any indicator based on hospital admissions may be influenced by local variation in referral and admission practices as well as variation in incidence or prevalence. The majority of indicators are based on 2016/17 data.
The profiles are available at county level via an interactive tool, at: https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/profile-group/child-health/profile/child-health-overview
In previous years the profiles have also been made available as pdf reports but Public Health England has advised that these will now be published at a later date (provisionally June 2018).
6. Marriage statistics
According to data published in February 2018, the number of marriages taking place in Somerset decreased marginally in 2015 compared to the previous year in figures released by the Office for National Statistics. For England, there was a 3% fall in the number of marriages in the same period.
A total of 3,180 marriages occurred in Somerset in 2015 of which 3,117 were marriages of opposite sex couples and 63 were marriages of same sex couples (24 male and 39 female couples).
Nationally, civil ceremonies now outnumber religious ceremonies by around 3 to 1 in respect of marriages of opposite-sex couples. The proportion of civil ceremonies increased from 50% in 1992 to 74% in 2015.
For the full dataset, see: www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages
7. Crime Survey for England and Wales: Domestic Abuse
The latest Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) has estimated that 26% of women and 15% of men aged 16 to 59 have experienced some form of domestic abuse since the age of 16. Applying these proportions to Somerset’s resident population would indicate around 38,000 female and 21,000 male victims in the county.
The CSEW also estimated that 7.5% of women and 4.3% of men experienced domestic abuse in the last year, which would equate to 11,000 women and 6,000 men in Somerset.
Nationally the survey found that for all types of domestic abuse, women were more likely than men to have experienced abuse in the last 12 months, with the exception of non-sexual family abuse, where the difference was non-significant. For both men and women, those in the younger age groups were more likely to be victims of domestic abuse in the last year than those in the older age groups.
8. Military Personnel Statistics
The number of Regular Forces personnel based in Somerset has increased marginally to 3,260 in the latest count published by the Ministry of Defence (as at 1st October 2017). This represents a rise of approximately 60 personnel on the figure a year earlier.
Meanwhile, numbers of MOD civilian personnel in Somerset has remained constant. On 1st October 2017, there were 1,410 civilian personnel in the county; the same number as a year earlier, based on Full Time Equivalents (FTEs).
9. Blue Badge Holders statistics
The number of individuals holding a Blue Badge parking permit in Somerset decreased by 3% to 29,900 in the year to March 2017. Nationally, numbers of permit holders increased marginally. Nevertheless, numbers have been in general decline since reforms of the Blue Badge application process in 2011/12.
Blue Badge holders in Somerset represent 5.4% of the county’s population, well above the national average of 4.3%.
A total of 18,200 Somerset residents are estimated to be automatically entitled to a Blue Badge due to their disability, of which 56% actually hold a Blue Badge.
10. Broadband Speeds
According to Ofcom’s ‘Connected Nations’ 2017 report, based on a snapshot at May 2017, Somerset’s districts had median fixed broadband download speeds ranging between 14.8 and 18.8 Mbit/s.
West Somerset and Taunton Deane had the slowest speeds, 14.8Mbit/s and 15.2Mbit/s respectively – these were the 4th and 6th slowest speeds of 326 local authority areas in England. Sedgemoor had the fastest median download speed in Somerset (18.8Mbit/s) though this was still the 50th slowest in England.
The data indicates that 34.0% of connections in Somerset are unable to receive speeds of between 2Mbit/s and 10 Mbit/s, the minimum recommended by Ofcom for ‘an acceptable user experience’. Nationally, 23.7% of connections are unable to reach speeds of between 2 to 10Mbit/s.
For the full dataset, available at local authority (county) and postcode level, see: www.ofcom.org.uk/research-and-data/multi-sector-research/infrastructure-research/connected-nations-2017/data-downloads
11. Rent Price Statistics for Small Areas research
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published initial findings of research into producing statistics on the cost of private renting for small geographical areas, using data from the property website Zoopla.
Currently, residential rental data is available only at local authority level (as opposed to house price paid statistics which are available for smaller areas). At this stage the research outputs exclude underlying data and are published for the purpose of receiving feedback.
12. Forthcoming Statistical Releases
The following are due for release at sub-regional geographies during March:
- Conceptions in England and Wales: 2016 (ONS)
- Childhood mortality in England and Wales: 2016 (ONS)
- Outcomes for children looked after by local authorities in England: 31 March 2017 (ONS)
- Health state life expectancy by census wards: England and Wales 2009 to 2013 (ONS)
- Electoral statistics for UK: 2017 (ONS)