SINePost newsletter - September 2020
Published: 10 September 2020 Author:
In this issue:
- Latest Population Estimates
- Migration estimates
- Births statistics
- Parents’ Country of Birth statistics
- Personal Well-being estimates
- Fuel Poverty estimates
- Volunteering statistics
- House Price Statistics for Small Areas
- Crime statistics
- Military Personnel Statistics
- Forthcoming Statistical Releases
1. Latest Population Estimates
Somerset’s population has increased by 2,826 to 562,225, in the latest annual estimate from the Office for National Statistics. Known as the ‘mid-year estimate’ (MYE), this represents an estimate of the population on 30th June 2019.
The annual percentage increase in Somerset’s population (0.5%) was marginally above the South West rate (0.4%) and in line with the England and Wales rate (0.5%).
At a district level, Somerset West and Taunton saw the biggest percentage increase in population (up 0.8% to 155,115), followed by Mendip (up 0.6% to 115,587), Sedgemoor (up 0.3% to 123,178) and South Somerset (up 0.3% to 168,345).
The figures indicate that in the last five years the median age of Somerset’s population has increased from 45.7 years to 47.4 years. For England and Wales as a whole, the median age is currently 40.2 years.
For the full dataset, see: www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationestimates
2. Migration estimates
More people continue to move into Somerset than move out according to latest ‘internal’ migration estimates. In the year to June 2019 an estimated 3,548 more people moved into Somerset from elsewhere in the UK than moved out.
People moving to Somerset from elsewhere in the UK accounted for 94% of net inward migration, with international migration (that is, from outside the UK) accounting for 6% (a net increase of 208 people).
Somerset’s population growth continues to be countered by ‘natural change’, with 861 fewer births than deaths in the county in the year to June 2019.
3. Births statistics
The number of live births declined for the fourth successive year in Somerset in 2019 according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This represented the lowest annual figure for at least ten years.
There were a total of 5,155 live birth during 2019, down from 5,224 births during 2018, and 12% fewer births than a peak of 5,764 during 2011.
The total fertility rate (TFR) in Somerset decreased from 1.83 to 1.80 children per woman in 2019. The highest TFR in 2019 was in Mendip (1.86) and the lowest in Somerset West and Taunton (1.70).
At a ward level, numbers of births in 2019 ranged from 131 in North Petherton ward (Sedgemoor) to a single birth in West Quantock ward (West Somerset).
Overall declines in numbers of births and fertility rates in Somerset have been mirroring national downward trends.
For the full dataset, see: www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages
4. Parents’ Country of Birth statistics
The proportion of births in Somerset to parents born outside the UK declined in 2019, according to annual figures from the Office for National Statistics. There were 842 births in the county where either one or both parents were non-UK born, representing 16.3% of all live births (down from 18.1% of births in 2018). At a district level, proportions ranged from 11.4% in Mendip to 18.7% in South Somerset.
In England as a whole, the proportion of births where at least one parent was born outside the UK was 35.2% in 2019 (up from 34.7% in 2018).
5. Personal Well-being estimates
Overall levels of happiness and life satisfaction declined in Somerset, but feelings that things done in life are worthwhile increased, in latest annual figures from the Measuring National Well-being programme (covering the period April 2019 to March 2020). Overall levels of anxiety also increased.
Based on the results of the Annual Population Survey (APS), the programme aims to measure people’s ongoing quality of life and complement other national indicators.
Average ratings for Somerset in 2019/20 were 7.80 out of 10 for life satisfaction; 8.02 out of 10 for ‘worthwhile’; 7.59 out of 10 for happiness; and 2.84 out of 10 for anxiety.
Somerset was better than the national average in respect of all four indicators of subjective well-being. At a district level, Mendip ranked highest for life satisfaction and ‘worthwhile’, while Sedgemoor was best for happiness.
For the full dataset, see: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing
Previous analysis identified three groups of people at particular risk of having the poorest personal well-being. These were:
- unemployed or inactive renters with self-reported health problems or disability
- employed renters with self-reported health problems or disability
- retired homeowners with self-reported health problems or disability
6. Fuel Poverty estimates
The number of Somerset households living in fuel poverty has fallen in latest estimates from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The new (2018-based) estimate of 24,135 fuel-poor households represents a decline of 2,170 households on the previous year’s figure. At a rate of 9.7% of all households, fuel poverty in Somerset remains below the national average rate (of 10.3%).
A household is considered to be fuel poor if:
- they have required fuel costs that are above average (the national median level)
- were they to spend that amount, they would be left with a residual income below the official poverty line.
Highest rates of fuel poverty are generally found in areas of deprivation and in rural areas (typically those containing older, less energy-efficient properties and with no access to the gas grid). The former West Somerset district recorded the highest fuel poverty rate in Somerset (13.0% of households), with Taunton Deane the lowest (8.5%).
Rates vary considerably at local level. The individual areas (LSOAs) with the highest rates in 2018 were: Roadwater (West Somerset), Porlock and District (West Somerset) and Watchet North (West Somerset).
7. Volunteering statistics
An estimated 28% of adults (aged 16 or over) in the South West of England take part in formal volunteering at least once a month, according to the latest annual ‘Community Life’ Survey from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Applying this proportion to Somerset’s population demographic would equate to around 115,000 regular adult volunteers.
Formal volunteering is defined as those giving unpaid help through an organisation or club. When looking at all volunteering (formal and informal), 67% of adults in the South West engaged at least once in the last year, representing the highest rate of any region in England.
For further details, see: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/community-life-survey-201920
8. House Price Statistics for Small Areas
The Office for National Statistics has published its latest ‘small area’ data on house prices and sales, covering electoral wards, Lower-layer Super Output Areas (LSOAs) and Middle-layer Super Output Areas (MSOAs):
The figures indicate that in 2019 the median price paid within Somerset’s neighbourhoods (MSOAs) ranged from £137,000 in the Bridgwater Hamp area to £417,500 in the Wedmore area (of Sedgemoor).
Overall, there were 8,888 residential property sales in Somerset during 2019, approximately 1,100 fewer than in the previous year, and representing a third successive year-on-year decline. The Firepool area of Taunton saw the highest number of sales.
9. Crime statistics
There were 39,600 crimes recorded in Somerset during 2019/20 according to the Office for National Statistics, representing a rate of 71 crimes per 1,000 population.
Within the Avon and Somerset Constabulary area, crime rates ranged from 61 per 1,000 in South Gloucestershire to 114 per 1,000 in Bristol.
Overall, there was a 3% increase in recorded crime in Somerset in 2019/20 compared to the previous year. Largest increases were seen in robbery and theft from the person. Largest falls were seen in non-residential burglary and bicycle theft.
Police recorded crime can be affected by a number of factors, including changes in recording practices, policing activity and willingness of victims to report.
10. Military Personnel Statistics
The number of Regular Forces personnel based in Somerset has declined (marginally) for the second successive year, to 3,160, in the latest count published by the Ministry of Defence (as of 1st April 2020).
Numbers of MOD civilian personnel in Somerset have remained stable. On 1st April 2020, there were 1,420 civilian personnel located in the county, based on Full Time Equivalents (FTEs).
Meanwhile, the MOD has released results of its latest national Tri-service Families Continuous Attitude Survey, monitoring the views of spouses and civil partners of armed forces personnel on service family life. Findings included an increased awareness of the Armed Forces Covenant, with over half (52%) of Service spouses now reporting knowing at least ‘a little’ about the Covenant, up four percentage points from 2019.
11. Forthcoming Statistical Releases
The following are due for release at sub-regional geographies during September:
- Health Inequalities Dashboard: September 2020 data update (PHE)
- Healthy Pregnancy Indicators (PHE)
- Life Expectancy for local areas of the UK: 2001 to 2003 to 2017 to 2019
- Population estimates by output areas, electoral, health and other geographies, England and Wales: mid-2019 (ONS)
- Civil partnerships in England and Wales: 2019 (ONS)
- Winter Fuel Payment statistics: winter 2019 to 2020 (DWP)
- Council Tax: stock of properties in England and Wales, 2020 (VOA)
- Suicides in England and Wales: 2019 registrations (ONS)
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