In this issue ...
1. Latest 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 estimated usual resident populations on 30 June 2017 (‘mid-2017’): www.gov.uk/government/statistics/small-area-population-estimates-in-england-and-wales-mid-2017
The estimates can be useful for service planning and as denominators for the calculation of various local rates and indicators.
The figures show that:
- Of Somerset’s 138 electoral wards, 98 have seen a population increase since the 2011 national census and 40 wards have seen a population decrease.
- There are now five Somerset wards in which at least one-in-five of the resident population is aged 75 or over, of which three are in West Somerset.
- Since 2011, the rural population of Somerset has increased by 3.8% while the urban population has increased by 5.6% (based on the ONS Rural-Urban Classification of wards).
The ONS has also published revised small area population estimates for mid-2012 to mid-2016, as a result of methodological improvements: www.ons.gov.uk/releases/revisedsmallareapopulationestimatesinenglandandwalesmid2012tomid2016
2. Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings results
Median gross weekly earnings for full-time employees living in Somerset increased by 3% to £531 in 2018 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 £496, suggesting a leakage of Somerset workers to higher value jobs outside the county.
For Somerset residents, the distribution of earnings in 2018 saw the bottom 10% of full-time employees earn less than £324 per week. At the other end of the distribution, the top 10% of full-time employees earned more than £1,015 per week.
In 2018 the gender pay gap (based on median gross hourly earnings) for full-time employees was 15.6% for Somerset residents, compared to a UK average of 8.6%. 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.
3. Business Activity, Size and Location data
The number of businesses (enterprises) in Somerset declined marginally to 24,240 in 2018 according to figures from the Office for National Statistics, based on an annual snapshot of the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR).
The figures also reveal:
- 78% of Somerset businesses employ fewer than five people, and 90% employ fewer than ten people.
- Taunton Deane has the largest concentration of medium and larger businesses in the county, with 11.1% employing more than 10 people.
- Somerset’s largest sectors in terms of number of businesses continue to be: agriculture, forestry and fishing (14%); professional, scientific and technical (12%) and construction (12%).
4. Somerset Children and Young People's Survey results
Results of the latest biennial Children and Young People’s Survey are now available, representing the largest survey of health and wellbeing undertaken locally and nationally. A total of 7,302 Somerset pupils took part, from 74 infant and primary, and 26 middle and secondary schools. The survey was administered by the School Health Education Unit (SHEU) on behalf of Somerset Public Health.
Key findings for Somerset primary-aged children included:
- Primary pupils in Somerset were more likely to report being physically active on at least 5 days the previous week compared with the wider SHEU (national) sample.
- An increase in the number of Somerset primary school children (27%) saying they had been bullied at or near school in the last 12 months compared with pupils in the wider sample (21%).
- Somerset primary pupils reported lower levels of self-esteem compared with the wider survey sample.
Findings for secondary-aged pupils included:
- Somerset pupils were more likely to report having 5 or more portions of fruit and vegetables the day before completing the survey compared with the wider SHEU sample.
- Fewer secondary pupils in Somerset recorded levels of high self-esteem (35%, compared with 41% seen in the wider sample).
- A decrease in the number of young people wanting to stay in education.
5. Destinations of school and college leavers
The proportion of state-funded mainstream pupils in Somerset going into sustained education, training or employment after Key Stage 4 (GCSE or equivalent) remained at 95% in 2016/17, in annual figures from the Department for Education. This proportion was marginally above the national average (of 94%).
The proportion of Somerset young people going into sustained education, employment or training the year after Key Stage 5 (A-level or equivalent) was 88% in 2016/17, marginally below the England average of 89%. The proportion of Somerset young people specifically going into an education setting was 49%, compared to 61% nationally.
Overall, 38% of students from state-funded mainstream schools and colleges in Somerset went to a higher education institution in 2016/17, well below the national proportion of 50%.
6. Young people’s earnings and geographic mobility analysis
The Office for National Statistics has published analysis of young people’s earnings progression and geographic mobility, based on data from the 2011 Census linked to earnings and benefits information from the DWP and HMRC.
For young people (aged 18 to 29) living in a Somerset district in the tax year ending 2012, average annual earnings growth by the tax year ending 2016 was:
- between 28% and 34% for those who moved to Greater London.
- between 8% and 16% for those who moved to the West of England city region (comprising Bristol, South Gloucestershire and BaNES)
- between 5% and 6% for those who did not move.
Between 2011 and 2015, a total of 9,058 young people living in a Somerset district moved elsewhere, while 32,769 did not move. The most common moves were to the West of England city region (1,232 people) and Greater London (1,173). West Somerset district saw the highest proportion of young people move elsewhere (27%) and Sedgemoor the lowest proportion (20%).
For the full dataset, see: www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/personalandhouseholdfinances/incomeandwealth/articles
7. Child Obesity statistics
Somerset has seen a decrease in child obesity in Reception-age children but an increase in Year 6 children according to latest annual results from the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP). These changes mirror national and regional trends.
In summary, for 2017/18:
- In Reception Year (age 4-5 years), 22.1% of Somerset children measured were either overweight or obese. This percentage was above the South West average (21.9%) but below the England average (22.4%).
- In Year 6 (age 10-11 years), 31.3% of Somerset children were overweight or obese, lower than the national average (34.3%) but higher than the regional average (30.3%).
- In Reception Year, 1.8% of Somerset children were recorded as severely obese (compared to 2.4% nationally). In Year 6, 3.5% of Somerset children were severely obese (compared to 4.2% nationally).
Nationally, analysis shows that obesity prevalence for children living in the most deprived areas is more than double that of those living in the least deprived areas, for both Reception and Year 6 children.
8. Somerset Road Casualty Review
The number of recorded casualties on Somerset’s roads declined by 6% in 2017 compared to the previous year according to the latest annual Casualty Review from Somerset Road Safety. There were a total of 1,464 casualties during 2017, of which 22 were fatal, 164 serious and 1,278 ‘slight’.
Summary findings include:
- There were three fewer fatalities in 2017 compared to 2016.
- Overall, killed and seriously injured (KSI) collisions and casualty numbers have shown a downward trend in the last five years; slight severity injuries have fluctuated in contrast but demonstrate an overall decline.
- There were seven motorcyclist fatalities on Somerset’s roads in 2017, four more than in 2016; motorcyclist fatal collisions constituted 32% of all fatal collisions in 2017.
The full report is available at: www.somersetroadsafety.org/userfiles/downloads/276/Casualty%20Review%202017%20-%20Final.pdf
9. Hate Crime statistics
There were 3,138 hate crime offences recorded in the Avon and Somerset police force area during 2017/18 according to figures from the Home Office, an increase of 9% on the 2,877 hate crimes recorded in 2016/17. For England and Wales as a whole, recorded hate crime increased by 17%.
Nationally, the increase is thought to be largely driven by improvements in police recording, although there were spikes in hate crime following certain events such as the EU Referendum in 2016 and terrorist attacks in 2017.
The majority of hate crime in Avon and Somerset in 2017/18 was motivated by race (69%), with sexual orientation (12%) the next most common motivating factor, followed by disability (9%), religion (8%) and transgender (2%). Nationally, 71% of hate crime was motivated by race.
10. Forthcoming Statistical Releases
The following are due for release at sub-regional geographies during November:
- Council Tax statistics by tax bands and property attributes in England and Wales, 2018 (VOA)
- Traveller caravan count: July 2018 (MHCLG)
- UK population by country of birth and nationality: July 2017 to June 2018 (ONS)
- Fly-tipping statistics for England (Defra)
- Business demography: 2017 (ONS)
- Fire statistics incident level datasets (Home Office)
- Blue badge scheme statistics: 2018 (DfT)