SINePost newsletter - October 2014
In this issue ...
- Welfare Reform Impact in Somerset
- Personal Well-being in Somerset 2013/14
- Accessibility Statistics 2013
- Out of term-time Population figures
- Improving Migration Statistics
- Birth Characteristics
- Business Register and Employment Survey 2013
- Dental Health Statistics 2013/14
- Local Actions on Health Inequalities briefings
- Intergenerational Disadvantage research
- Forthcoming Statistical Releases
1. Welfare Reform Impact in Somerset
The Somerset Intelligence team have produced a report considering the local impact of changes to the benefit system, using data and case studies provided by a range of organisations across Somerset.
Figures show that, while the introduction of the Benefit Cap has had a relatively minor impact in Somerset, removal of the Spare Room Subsidy (‘the bedroom tax’) and the changes to Local Housing Allowance rates appear to be resulting in financial shortfall for significant numbers of households. The numbers of households needing extra help to meet costs through Discretionary Housing Payments tripled in 2013/14, and liability orders for Council Tax in 2013/14 rose by 44% year-on-year. Meanwhile, options for downsizing are limited due to a waiting list for suitable properties.
For more details, please go to http://www.somersetintelligence.org.uk/welfare-reform-impact-monitoring/
2. Personal Well-being in Somerset 2013/14
Overall levels of personal well-being in Somerset have improved in the last year according to the latest annual results from the government’s Measuring National Well-being programme. The programme aims to measure people’s ongoing quality of life, and complement existing national indicators such as economic performance: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/wellbeing/measuring-national-well-being/personal-well-being-in-the-uk--2013-14/index.html
Interactive maps show how personal well-being compares across the UK. The latest results see Somerset perform well in terms of residents’ ‘happiness’ (in response to the question ‘how happy did you feel yesterday?’), ranking 37th of 143 local authority areas. Somerset ranks 47th in terms of life satisfaction (‘how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?’) and 59th in terms of worth (‘to what extent do you think the things you do in life are worthwhile?’).
Previous analysis published by the ONS has found that the most important factor associated with people’s personal well-being is their self-reported health, followed by their work situation and then their relationship status.
3. Accessibiliy Statistics 2013
The Department for Transport has published its latest (2013) estimates of travel times to a range of key sites and services, such as employment centres, food stores, GPs, hospitals, town centres and schools: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/accessibility-statistics-2013
The figures indicate that people in Somerset are on average 5 minutes by car from their nearest food store, 5 minutes from their nearest employment centre and around 9 minutes from their nearest hospital. For people reliant on public transport (or walking) these estimates increase to 8 minutes, 11 minutes and 25 minutes respectively.
At a lower level (LSOA) the figures demonstrate the accessibility issues faced by some rural Somerset residents; where people can be up to around 25 minutes by car from a key service, or 1 hour 20 minutes away by public transport.
4. Out of term-time population figures
The ONS has now released ‘out of term-time’ population tables from the 2011 Census. The out of term population differs from the ‘usual resident population’ in that students who were counted at their boarding school or university residence on Census day are re-assigned to their family home. See: www.nomisweb.co.uk/census/2011/all_tables?release=5.3
The overall figures confirm Somerset as a net ‘exporter’ of university-age students and a net ‘importer’ of school-age children. Somerset’s population of 11-17 year olds increases by 1,700 during term-time, while our 19-22 year old population declines by around 4,400. Overall, this means that Somerset’s estimated resident population is around 3,700 higher during school and university holidays.
5. Improving Migration Statistics
Somerset Intelligence attended recent workshops at which research to improve the accuracy of population estimates through more reliable migration data was outlined and discussed.
At a national level, the Home Office and Office for National Statistics (ONS) are working to improve recording of international immigration, understanding the reasons for people coming to the UK, and disseminating the figures in a clearer way. Presentations on the issue are available on the Migration Statistics User Forum website at http://www.statslife.org.uk/events/eventdetail/258/-/-. The first two are of particular interest.
The ONS also presented to a Local Insight Reference Panel their research into quality assurance of current population estimates and how they are changing their methodologies to make internal migration data clearer, more timely and accurate at a local level. As the 2011 Census becomes more out-of-date, the ONS is advocating smarter use of administrative data and plans to incorporate changes in time for the 2015 mid-year population estimates, published in 2016. We shall keep you updated with progress.
For more information about population and migration data methodology, please go to http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/method-quality/specific/population-and-migration/index.html
6. Birth Characteristics
Women in Somerset are having babies earlier on average than their national and regional counterparts according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Nationally and in the South West as a whole the birth rate is highest in the 30 to 34 age group while in Somerset the highest birth rate is in the 25 to 29 age group.
Meanwhile, the proportion of births outside marriage (or civil partnership) continues to grow. Having reached the 50% mark in Somerset in 2010, the proportion in 2013 was 52.2%. This is above the UK average (of 47.5%).
The full national dataset is available at: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/re-reference-tables.html?edition=tcm%3A77-327582
7. Business Register and Employment Survey 2013
All Somerset district areas saw increases in numbers of employees in 2013 compared to 2012 according to provisional results from the Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES). This increase mirrors increases seen in around 70% of local authority districts nationally. See: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/bus-register/business-register-employment-survey/2013-provisional/index.html
For Somerset as a whole, there were increases in both the private and public sector workforces between 2012 and 2013. The number of private sector employees in Somerset increased by around 5,500, while there were an additional 1,500 public sector employees.
8. Dental Health Statistics 2013/14
The Health and Social Care Information Centre has published latest annual dental statistics for 2013/14, at local authority level. The statistics reveal that NHS dentists delivered 446,456 courses of treatment (CoTs) to Somerset patients during 2013/14.
Around 14% of courses of treatment in Somerset were classified as Band 3 or ‘Urgent’. However, for adults who do not have to pay for their NHS dental treatment, this proportion was notably higher, at 24%. One reason for this may be a lower standard of dental health among non-paying adults.
For further details see: http://www.somersetintelligence.org.uk/dental-health.html
9. Local Action on Health Inequalities briefings
Public Health England have published a series of briefings on tackling health inequalities at a local level. While 2010’s Marmot Review (‘Fair Society, Healthy Lives’) was aimed at influencing government and policy makes, the new briefings focus on issues that are amenable to action by local authorities. The following topic areas are included:
- Adult learning services
- Employment and workplace health
- The Living Wage
- Fuel poverty
The briefings, plus accompanying evidence reviews, can be downloaded at the following link: www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-action-on-health-inequalities-evidence-papers
11. Intergenerational Disadvantage research
New analysis from the ONS looks at the extent to which the circumstances children grow up in affect their future life chances, using data for both the UK and other EU countries. See: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/household-income/intergenerational-transmission-of-poverty-in-the-uk---eu/2014/sty-causes-of-poverty-uk.html
Of the factors considered, educational attainment is identified as having the largest impact on the likelihood of being in poverty and of being severely materially deprived as an adult. Holding all else equal, in the UK, those with a low level of educational attainment are almost five times as likely to be in poverty now and 11 times as likely to be severely materially deprived as those with a high level of education.
Moreover, the research finds that in the UK, father’s education level has the biggest impact on the likelihood of low educational attainment. People are 7.5 times more likely to have a low educational outcome if their father has a low level of education, compared with a highly educated father.
12. Forthcoming Statistical Releases
The following are due for release at sub-regional geographies during October:
- Small Area Population Estimates (Wards, LSOAs): mid-2013 (ONS)
- Integrated Household Survey - January to December 2013 (ONS)
- Civil Partnership Statistics – 2013 (ONS)
- Fly-tipping Statistics - 2012/13 (Defra)
- Overcrowding and under-occupation by ethnic group: 2011 Census analysis (ONS)
- Life expectancy at birth and at age 65 by local areas in England and Wales: 2011 to 2013 (ONS)
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