Welcome to the Public Works blog.

Public Works is UNISON Scotland's campaign for jobs, services, fair taxation and the Living Wage. This blog will provide news and analysis on the delivery of public services in Scotland. We welcome comments and if you would like to contribute to this blog, please contact Dave Watson d.watson@unison.co.uk. For other information on what's happening in UNISON Scotland please visit our website.

Monday, 3 March 2014

How Scotland compares with the rest of the UK - social indicators

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published a Compendium of UK Statistics bringing together comparable official statistics for the four nations of the UK. There is always a time lag with this data with most figures relating to the 2010-2012 period.

Here are a few snippets from the social indicators.

The wealthiest country is England
• England was the wealthiest country of Great Britain with a median total household wealth of £238,600. This compared with £231,500 in Wales and £182,500 in Scotland.
• Average weekly household expenditure was £491.00 in England, £480.90 in Northern Ireland, £437.30 in Scotland and £411.30 in Wales.

But Scotland has fewer low income households
• Based on a three year average ending in 2011/12, 16% of individuals in England were living in relative low income, before housing costs. The equivalent figures were 19% in Wales, 15% in Scotland and 21% in Northern Ireland.
• The proportion of children living in households where income is below the relative poverty threshold (before housing costs) was highest in Wales and Northern Ireland, both at 23%. This compared with 18% in England and 17% in Scotland.

Scots still die earlier, have poor healthy life expectancy (particularly men), but actually drink alcohol less frequently. The stereotype is clearly slipping a bit!
• Death rates per 100,000 population of 523.9 in England, 567.8 in Wales, 640.1 in Scotland and 567.0 in Northern Ireland.
• Healthy Life Expectancy (HLE) at birth for males was 5.2 years higher in England (64.4 years) than in Northern Ireland (59.2 years). For females, the difference between England (66.4 years) and Northern Ireland5 (61.9 years) was slightly less at 4.5 years. HLE in Wales was identical for males and females at 63.0 years. In Scotland it was 59.8 years for males and 64.1 years for females, showing the largest gender gap in HLE with more than 4 years separating males and females.
• An estimated 12% of persons aged 16 and over in England had drunk alcohol on five or more days in the last week, compared with 8% in Wales and 9% in Scotland.

Scots are educated to a higher level but we also have more people with no qualifications.
• Scotland had the highest proportion of usual residents aged 16 to 64 with an NVQ Level 4 or equivalent and above qualification (Higher National Certificate, Higher National Diploma or degree level), at 38.5% (1.3 million). In England, the proportion was 34.2% (11.5 million), the same as for the UK as a whole. Wales and Northern Ireland had the lowest proportions of usual residents aged 16 to 64 with an NVQ Level 4 or equivalent and above qualification, at 30.3% and 27.5% (572,500 and 315,800) respectively.
• The country with the highest proportion of usual residents aged 16 to 64 with no qualifications was Northern Ireland at 18.4% (211,200), compared with the UK average of 9.9% (4.0 million). In Wales, 11.4% (216,100) of usual residents aged 16 to 64 had no qualifications and in Scotland, the proportion was 10.7% (361,000). Usual residents of England were least likely to have no qualifications at 9.5% (3.2 million) of those aged 16 to 64.

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