:: Article

Albion State

By Richard Marshall.

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This is a world where nothing’s solved.

UK house prices increased by 7.9% in the year to January 2016, up from 6.7% in the year to December 2015.

House price annual inflation was 8.6% in England, -0.3% in Wales, 0.1% in Scotland and 0.8% in Northern Ireland.

Annual house price increases in England were driven by an annual increase in the South East (11.7%), London (10.8%) and the East (9.8%).

Excluding London and the South East, UK house prices increased by 5.1% in the 12 months to January 2016.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices increased by 0.9% between December 2015 and January 2016.

In January 2016, prices paid by first-time buyers were 7.7% higher on average than in January 2015.

For owner-occupiers (existing owners), prices increased by 8.0% for the same period.

During the year to January 2016, average house prices increased by 8.6% in England (up from 7.3% in the year to December 2015), 0.1% in Scotland (up from -0.2%) and 0.8% in Northern Ireland (down from 1.5%).

There was a 0.3% decrease in average house prices in Wales (down from a 1.0% increase in the year to December 2015).

UK average mix-adjusted house price in January 2016 was £292,000.

The pace of annual house price growth was again varied across the 9 English regions in January 2016 (Figure 5).

The largest annual increase was in the South East at 11.7% (up from 8.8% in the year to December 2015) followed by London (10.8% increase in the year to January 2016, up from 9.4% in the year to December 2015).

The North East continues to have the lowest annual growth of the 9 regions, with prices increasing 0.9% in the year to January 2016 (unchanged from 0.9% in the year to December 2015).

Excluding London and the South East, UK house prices increased by 5.1% over the year to January 2016, up from 4.6% in the year to December 2015.

The average price for properties bought by first-time buyers increased by 7.7% over the year to January 2016, up from an increase of 6.4% in the year to December 2015 (Figure 8).

In January 2016, the average price paid for a house by a first-time buyer was £222,000.

The average price for properties bought by former owner-occupiers (existing owners) increased by 8.0% in the year to January 2016, up from an increase of 6.9% in the year to December 2015. In January 2016, the average price paid for a house by a former owner-occupier was £340,000.

There were 31.42 million people in work, 116,000 more than for August to October 2015 and 478,000 more than for a year earlier.

There were 22.94 million people working full-time, 302,000 more than for a year earlier.

There were 8.48 million people working part-time, 177,000 more than for a year earlier.

The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 74.1%, the joint highest since comparable records began in 1971.

There were 1.68 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 28,000 fewer than for August to October 2015 and 171,000 fewer than for a year earlier.

There were 923,000 unemployed men, 102,000 fewer than for a year earlier.

There were 762,000 unemployed women, 69,000 fewer than for a year earlier.

The unemployment rate was 5.1%, lower than for a year earlier (5.7%).

The unemployment rate is the proportion of the labour force (those in work plus those unemployed) that were unemployed.

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There were 8.89 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive (not working and not seeking or available to work), 40,000 fewer than for August to October 2015 and 136,000 fewer than for a year earlier.

The inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive) was 21.8%, lower than for a year earlier (22.2%) and only slightly higher than the record low of 21.7% last recorded for July to September 1990.

Average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain increased by 2.1% including bonuses and by 2.2% excluding bonuses compared with a year earlier.

For the 3 months to January 2016:

People worked, on average, 32.2 hours per week, 0.2 hours more than for August to October 2015 but little changed compared with a year earlier.

People working full-time worked, on average, 37.5 hours per week in their main job, 0.3 hours more than for August to October 2015 but little changed compared with a year earlier.

People working part-time worked, on average, 16.4 hours per week in their main job, 0.2 hours more than for August to October 2015 and 0.3 hours more than for a year earlier.

For January 2016 in nominal terms (that is, not adjusted for price inflation):

Average regular pay (excluding bonuses) for employees in Great Britain was £467 per week before tax and other deductions from pay, up from £457 per week for a year earlier.

Average total pay (including bonuses) for employees in Great Britain was £497 per week before tax and other deductions from pay, up from £485 per week for a year earlier.

Between the 3 months to January 2015 and the 3 months to January 2016, in nominal terms, regular pay increased by 2.2%, higher than the growth rate between October to December 2014 and October to December 2015 (2.0%).

Between the 3 months to January 2015 and the 3 months to January 2016, in nominal terms, total pay increased by 2.1%, higher than the growth rate between October to December 2014 and October to December 2015 (1.9%).

Looking at longer term movements, since comparable records began in 2000 average total pay for employees in Great Britain in nominal terms increased from £311 a week in January 2000 to £497 a week in January 2016; an increase of 59.7%.

Over the same period the Consumer Prices Index increased by 38.4%.

The proportion of economically active people aged 16 and over who are out of work and seeking work is known as the unemployment rate.

The lowest unemployment rate recorded since comparable records began in 1971 was 3.4% in late 1973 to early 1974 and the highest rate, 11.9%, was recorded in 1984 during the downturn of the early 1980s.

The unemployment rate for the latest time period, the 3 months to January 2016, was 5.1%.

There were 2.23 million people who were not looking for work because they were studying, 93,000 fewer than for a year earlier.

There were 2.26 million people (of which 2.01 million were women) who were not looking for work because they were looking after the family or home, 52,000 fewer than for a year earlier.

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In 2014 period life expectancy at birth in the UK was 79.3 for males and 83.0 for females.

By 2039 period life expectancy at birth is projected to reach 84.1 years for males and 86.9 years for females, an increase of around 4 years since 2014.

By 2039 cohort life expectancy at birth is projected to reach 93.9 for males and 96.5 for females, almost 10 years longer than period life expectancy.

Period life expectancy at birth is projected to rise by 8 years for males and 7 years for females over the 50 years to 2064.

By 2064, cohort life expectancy at birth for females in England is projected to reach 100 years, 99 in the UK, Wales, and Northern Ireland and 98 in Scotland.

A comparison of period life expectancies in 2014 and projected period life expectancy in 2060 for a selection of countries selected purely by the accessibility of the relevant data.

In 2014 the UK has the second lowest life expectancy at birth of the seven countries for both males and females (the lowest being the USA).

In 2014 Sweden has the highest life expectancy for males and Japan has the highest for females.

There were 695,233 live births in England and Wales in 2014, a decrease of 0.5% from 698,512 in 2013.

In 2014, the total fertility rate (TFR) decreased to 1.83 children per woman, from 1.85 in 2013.

In 2014, the stillbirth rate remained at 4.7 per thousand total births, the same as in 2013.

The average age of mothers in 2014 increased to 30.2 years, compared with 30.0 years in 2013.

Over a quarter (27.0%) of live births in 2014 were to mothers born outside the UK; a small increase compared with 26.5% in 2013

There were 501,424 deaths registered in England and Wales in 2014, compared with 506,790 in 2013 (a fall of 1.1%)

Age-standardised mortality rates (ASMRs) have continued to decrease in 2014.

There were 11,213 deaths per million population for males and 8,219 deaths per million population for females.

The infant mortality rate decreased in 2014 to 3.9 deaths per thousand live births, compared with 4.0 in 2013.

There were 3,254 stillbirths in England and Wales in 2014, compared with 3,284 in 2013 (a fall of 0.9%)

In 2014, cancer was the most common broad cause of death (29% of all deaths registered) followed by circulatory diseases, such as heart disease and strokes (27% of all deaths registered).

Cancer was the most common broad cause of death for both sexes.

Standardised mortality ratios (SMRs) allow for useful comparisons to be made against a national average, as the results take into account differing age structures in the populations of local areas.

Local authorities find these ratios useful to gauge how deaths in their area compare with England and Wales as a whole in a given year.

The North East had the highest SMR among the regions of England in 2014, with mortality levels 14 percentage points above the national level.

Mortality levels were lowest in London, at 9 percentage points below the national level.

In 2014, the local authority in England with the highest SMR was Middlesbrough (37 percentage points above the national level).

The City of London had the lowest (57 percentage points below the national level, although this rate may have low reliability as a measure due to the small number of deaths registered – 28 deaths).

In Wales, Blaenau Gwent had the highest SMR (27 percentage points above the national level) while Monmouthshire had the lowest (12 percentage points below the national level).

It is recognised that there are generally higher levels of deprivation in the north of England than in the south (Department for Communities and Local Government, 2011), and in the Welsh valleys in comparison to counties such as Monmouthshire (Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation (WIMD), 2014).

Increased mortality rates for many causes of death have long been associated with higher levels of deprivation (Romeri et al., 2006).

This is a reflection of underlying differences in factors such as income deprivation, smoking status and other health-related behaviour.

The inequality in life expectancy between the local areas with the highest and lowest figures decreased for only males at birth between 2000–02 and 2010–12.

The majority of local areas in Scotland (72%) were in the fifth of local areas in the UK with the lowest male and female life expectancy at birth in 2010–12.

Conversely, only 15% of local areas in England were in this group.

None of the local areas in Scotland and Wales and only one in Northern Ireland were in the fifth of areas with the highest male and female life expectancy at birth in UK.

In contrast, a quarter of local areas in England were in this group.

In 2010–12, male life expectancy at birth was highest in East Dorset (82.9 years) and lowest in Glasgow City (72.6 years).

For females, life expectancy at birth was highest in Purbeck (86.6 years) and lowest in Glasgow City (78.5 years).

Approximately 91% of baby boys in East Dorset and 94% of girls in Purbeck will reach their 65th birthday, if 2010–12 mortality rates persist throughout their lifetime.

The comparable figures for Glasgow City are 75% for baby boys and 85% for baby girls.

Life expectancy at age 65 was highest for men in Harrow, where they could expect to live for a further 20.9 years compared with only 14.9 years for men in Glasgow City.

For women at age 65, life expectancy was highest in Camden (23.8 years) and lowest in Glasgow City (18.3 years).

Life expectancy at birth in the UK increased between 2006–08 and 2010–12, from 77.5 to 78.9 years for males and 81.7 to 82.7 years for females.

Life expectancy was higher in England than in any of the other UK countries in every period examined.

In England, male life expectancy increased from 77.9 years in 2006–08 to 79.2 years in 2010–12.

For females, the corresponding increase was from 82.0 to 83.0 years.

Over the same period, life expectancy at birth in Scotland, the country with the lowest figures, increased from 75.1 to 76.6 years for males and from 79.9 to 80.8 years for females.

All four UK countries saw increases in life expectancy over time albeit to varying extents.

The greatest increase since 2000–02 was observed in Scotland for males (3.3 years) and in England for females (2.4 years).

Conversely, the smallest increase was in Northern Ireland for males (2.6 years) and Scotland for females (2.0 years).

In each country, the increase in life expectancy was greater for males than for females, causing the difference between the sexes to narrow over time.

In 2010–12, life expectancy at birth was highest in the South East (80.3 years) for males and in the South West for females (83.9 years).

Conversely, these figures were lowest in the North West for males (77.7 years) and in the North East for females (81.6 years).

Life expectancy was higher for females than males across all regions in each period examined.

In addition, this inequality in life expectancy between the sexes was consistently smaller in the South East and East of England than in any other region.

Life expectancy increased in each region between 2006–08 and 2010–12, with London experiencing the greatest improvement for both males (1.6 years) and females (1.2 years).

Improvements in other regions varied between 1.1 and 1.5 years for males and 0.8 and 1.1 years for females.

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A number of factors have been identified as plausibly being responsible for the excess mortality, and consequently lower life expectancy, in the northern regions of England.

These include socioeconomic, environmental (including working conditions), educational, epigenetic, and lifestyle factors, which may act over the whole life course, and possibly over generations.

In a recent study, Hacking, Muller and Buchan (2011) examined trends in mortality across the north-south divide in England over a period of four decades.

In addition to the excess deaths observed in northern regions throughout the period, they also noted that 14% of such deaths in 2004–06 were attributed to the prevalence of smoking while 3.5% in 2005 was associated with alcohol consumption.

In addition, death rates for potentially avoidable causes, such as certain cancers, respiratory and heart disease, are significantly higher in northern regions than in the south.

In 2010–12, life expectancy at age 65 was highest for men in the South East (19.2 years), 1.5 years longer than in the North East with the lowest figure (17.6 years).

For women, the comparable figures were 21.7 years in London and 20.0 years in the North East.

In contrast to at birth, the greatest improvement in life expectancy at age 65 between 2006–08 and 2010–12 was observed in the West Midlands for both sexes.

Gender inequality in life expectancy persists at age 65, albeit to a smaller extent than at birth.

In addition, this inequality was smaller in the North East and North West than in other regions.

In 2010–12, male life expectancy at birth was highest in East Dorset (82.9 years) and lowest in Glasgow City (72.6 years).

For females, life expectancy at birth was highest in Purbeck at 86.6 years and lowest in Glasgow City where females could expect to live for 78.5 years.

These differences were statistically significant.

It is noteworthy that these areas may not always be ranked top and bottom respectively in the UK.

Therefore, the change in geographical inequality in life expectancy is not necessarily a measure of the change in the gap between specific areas over time.

Nevertheless, Glasgow City was consistently ranked as the area with the lowest male and female life expectancy between 2000–02 and 2010–12.

Geographical inequality in life expectancy fell for males between 2000–02 to 2010–12 but not for females.

The difference in male life expectancy between the local areas with the highest and lowest figures fell from 10.6 years in 2000–02 to 10.3 years in 2010–12.

For females, the comparable difference increased from 7.7 years to 8.1 years over the periods.

For males at birth, 72% of local areas in Scotland, 36% in Wales and 19% in Northern Ireland and only 14% of local areas in England were in the fifth of areas with the lowest life expectancy in 2010-12.

Conversely, only one local area in Northern Ireland and none of the local areas Scotland and Wales were in the fifth of areas with the highest life expectancy while a quarter of local areas in England were in this group.

A similar picture was observed for females with 72% of local areas in Scotland, 32% in Wales, 12% in Northern Ireland and 15% in England fifth of areas with the lowest life expectancy.

Again, a quarter of local areas in England were in the fifth of local areas in the UK with the highest life expectancy while only one in Northern Ireland and none in Scotland and Wales were in this group.

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There were an estimated 6.6 million incidents of crime covered by the survey in the year ending September 2015.

This latest estimate was not significantly different compared with the previous year’s.

There was a 6% increase in police recorded crime compared with the previous year, with 4.3 million offences recorded in the year ending September 2015.

Most of this rise is thought to be due to a greater proportion of reports of crime being recorded in the last year, following improved compliance with national recording standards by police forces.

Improvements in recording of crime are thought to have particulary affected some categories of violent crime recorded by the police.

There was a 27% rise in violence against the person offences (an additional 185,666 offences) which was largely driven by increases within the violence without injury sub-group (up by 130,207 offences; a 37% increase).

The estimate for violent crime showed no significant change compared with the previous year’s survey.

There were also increases in some of the more serious types of police recorded violence, including a 9% rise in offences involving knives or sharp instruments and a 4% increase in offences involving firearms.

Such offences are less likely to be prone to changes in recording practices though there is some anecdotal evidence to suggest that a tightening of recording procedures may also be contributing to some of the increase in some forces.

Sexual offences recorded by the police continued to rise with the latest figures up 36% on the previous year; equivalent to an additional 26,606 offences.

The numbers of rapes (33,431) and other sexual offences (66,178) were at the highest level since the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard in the year ending March 2003.

As well as improvements in recording, this is also thought to reflect a greater willingness of victims to come forward to report such crimes.

There was a 5% increase in the volume of fraud offences referred to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) at the City of London Police.

Over 0.6 million offences were referred to NFIB, including 234,878 offences reported by victims to Action Fraud (the UK’s national fraud reporting centre), 283,654 referrals from Cifas (a UK-wide fraud prevention service) and 86,066 cases from FFA UK (that represents the UK payments industry).

It is known that many cases of fraud do not come to the attention of the police, and these figures provide a very partial picture.

This is never really set anywhere. Anywhere is different from nowhere.

It’s about navigating a perspective.

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First published in 3:AM Magazine: Friday, April 8th, 2016.