SINePost newsletter - May 2017
In this issue ...
- Sexual Identity estimates
- Households in Poverty: Small Area estimates
- Economic Factsheets
- Educational Attainment by Age 19 statistics
- Highest Level of Qualification estimates
- Small Area Child Obesity statistics
- Road vehicle statistics
- Road Traffic Volumes
- Journey Time to Key Services statistics
- Postcode Electricity and Gas Usage estimates
- What’s New on the Somerset Intelligence website?
- Forthcoming Statistical Releases
1. Sexual Identity estimates
The Office for National Statistics has published estimates of sexual identity at a local authority (county) level for the first time, based on survey data covering 2013 to 2015:
The estimates suggest that 95.2% of Somerset’s adult (aged 16 or over) population identify themselves as heterosexual or straight; 0.9% (4,000 residents) identify as gay or lesbian; 1.1% (5,000 residents) identify as bisexual; and 0.4% (2,000 residents) as ‘Other’ (‘other’ indicates that respondents did not consider themselves to fit into the heterosexual or straight, bisexual, gay or lesbian categories). 2.4% of respondents didn’t know or refused to answer.
UK wide, the proportion of adults identifying as heterosexual or straight ranged from 72% in Camden to 99% in Monmouthshire.
2. Households in Poverty: Small Area estimates
The proportion of Somerset households living in poverty (after housing costs) ranges from 10.6% in the Comeytrowe/Trull area of Taunton, to 32.8% in the Hamp area of Bridgwater, according to estimates published by the Office for National Statistics. Information is available for all Middle-layer Super Output Areas (MSOAs).
A household is deemed to be in poverty if the household’s income lies below 60% of the UK median income (equating to £232 per week after housing costs for the financial year ending 2014).
Each Somerset district has at least one area within Somerset’s ‘top 10’ in terms of highest rates of poverty, all of which are urban areas. These areas cover parts of Bridgwater, Chard, Frome, Highbridge, Minehead, Taunton and Yeovil.
Overall, around three-quarters of small areas (Middle-layer Super Output Areas, MSOAs) in Somerset have fewer than 20% of households in poverty, in line with the national benchmark.
3. Economic Factsheets
Latest factsheets on Somerset’s economy are now available on the Somerset Intelligence website:
Headlines from the latest factsheets include:
- Somerset’s employment rate remains higher than the national level (75.9% compared to 73.9%). Taunton Deane and West Somerset have the highest employment rates (78.7% and 81.6% respectively). Mendip, Sedgemoor and South Somerset saw employment rates decline over the last year.
- 78.9% of Somerset’s residents aged 16-64 are economically active, compared to 77.7% nationally. Taunton Deane and West Somerset saw a slight increase in economic activity over the last year.
- Median annual earnings in Somerset consistently lag behind the UK level. Sedgemoor has the lowest, with £23,361 median earnings. Sedgemoor was the only Somerset district to see a fall in median earnings over the last year.
4. Educational Attainment by Age 19 statistics
Overall educational attainment by age 19 has decreased marginally in Somerset according to annual figures from the Department for Education (DfE), mirroring a national decline: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/level-2-and-3-attainment-by-young-people-aged-19-in-2016
- 85.5% of 19 year-olds were qualified to at least Level 2 (5 GCSEs at A*-C or equivalent), a decrease of 0.8 percentage points on the equivalent 2015 figure.
- 55.6% of 19 year-olds were qualified to at least Level 3 (2 A-levels or equivalent), representing a decrease of 0.9 percentage points on the previous figure.
The figures relate to young people who were in the state sector at age 15. Somerset is similar to the England average at Level 2 and below the national average at Level 3.
In terms of disadvantaged pupils, the attainment ‘gap’ in Somerset between those eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) and those not eligible for FSM was 20.3 percentage points at Level 2, and 31.7 percentage points at Level 3 (with both gaps exceeding national averages).
5. Highest Level of Qualification estimates
The proportion of Somerset residents qualified to at least Level 4 (NVQ4, HND, degree or equivalent) remains below the national average according to the latest Annual Population Survey from the Office for National Statistics. In 2016 an estimated 34.6% of working-age Somerset residents were educated to at least Level 4, compared to 37.9% for England as a whole.
At a district level, Taunton Deane and West Somerset had the highest proportion of residents with a Level 4 qualification (with both exceeding the national average), with Sedgemoor having the lowest proportion.
6. Small Area Child Obesity statistics
Public Health England has published latest small area (electoral ward and MSOA) estimates of child excess weight and obesity, combining three years of data from the National Child Measurement Programme (2013/14 to 2015/16):
For Reception children in Somerset, obesity rates range from 3.3% in Camelot ward (South Somerset) to 14.8% in Chard Combe and Chard Holyrood wards. Eight of the top 10 rates are South Somerset wards, with five in Chard.
For children in Year 6, highest obesity rates are in Yeovil Central and Yeovil East wards (23.8% and 23.2% respectively), with wards in Chard, Bridgwater, Street and rural West Somerset also appearing in the top 10.
Overall, Somerset has a lower prevalence of obesity among Reception children than the England average (8.9% compared to 9.3%) and a lower prevalence among Year 6 children (16.2% compared to 19.3%), based on the latest three year period.
7. Road vehicle statistics
The number of licenced vehicles in Somerset continues to increase, with an additional 8,500 vehicles recorded in 2016 compared to 2015, according to figures from the Department for Transport:
Light goods vehicles saw the biggest proportional increase of any vehicle type (up 4%, or 1,900 vehicles). The number of cars increased by 2% (6,000 vehicles) over the same period. These trends were in line with the national picture.
At a district level, South Somerset and Taunton Deane saw the biggest absolute increases in numbers of vehicles (with both areas increasing by 2,200).
8. Road Traffic Volumes
The volume of traffic on Somerset’s roads increased for the fourth successive year in 2016 according estimates from the Department for Transport. A total of 4,107 million vehicle miles were travelled during the year, compared to 3,985 million vehicle miles in 2015 (an increase of 3.1%). Regionally and nationally the rate of increase was lower (at 2.6% and 2.2% respectively).
Historically, traffic volumes in Somerset rose steadily between 1993 and 2008, before declining through to 2012. Overall volumes are currently just 5% higher than a decade ago but 29% higher than 20 years ago.
9. Journey Time to Key Services statistics
Average minimum journey times for Somerset residents to a range of key local services are 24 minutes by public transport/walking, 21 minutes by cycle and 12 minutes by car, according to latest ‘accessibility’ estimates from the Department for Transport. Nationally, averages journey times are 18, 15 and 10 minutes respectively.
Key services are identified as: employment centres, primary schools, secondary schools, FE colleges, GPs, hospitals, food stores and town centres.
At a district level, average journey times are longest in Mendip and West Somerset and shortest in South Somerset and Taunton Deane.
Figures are also available for all small areas (LSOAs) in England. See: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/journey-time-statistics-2015
10. Postcode Electricity and Gas Usage estimates
Experimental postcode-level domestic electricity and gas consumption statistics have been published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with the aim of helping to inform energy efficiency initiatives. Figures are available for postcode areas with at least six meters.
The data demonstrates a wide variation in usage across the county, with average electricity consumption ranging from 2,800 kWh per meter (Dunster/Timberscombe, West Somerset) to 6,400 kWh per meter (Postlebury, Mendip). The top ten wards with the highest average usage are all rural, likely to include those with older, less energy efficient housing stock.
Gas consumption ranges from 7,100 kWh per meter (King’s Isle, Sedgemoor) to 23,000 kWh per meter (Blackdown, Taunton Deane). All of the top ten areas are rural. (Note: Blackdown figure is based on only 12 meters.) See:
Electricity consumption statistics: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/postcode-level-electricity-estimates-2015-experimental
Gas consumption statistics: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/postcode-level-gas-estimates-2015-experimental
11. What’s New on the Somerset Intelligence website?
Updates to the website in the last month include:
12. Forthcoming Statistical Releases
The following are due for release at sub-regional geographies during May:
- Internet users in the UK: 2017 (ONS)
- Traveller caravan count: January 2017 (DCLG)
- Location of UK regular service and civilian personnel quarterly statistics: 1 April 2017 (MoD)
- Health Profiles: May 2017 data update (PHE)
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