This year’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) adjustment of the goods and services ‘shopping basket’ which underpins the RPI and CPI measures of inflation has captured the media’s imagination. Not least the fact that champagne is no longer included in the basket. Whilst it’s interesting to look for the effects of austerity Britain in the new basket contents and easy to view it as a pop thermometer of what’s ‘hot’
In 1917, the first year for which there are records, King George V sent birthday cards to 24 British centenarians to congratulate them on turning 100. Since the beginning of her reign Elizabeth II has sent over 110,000 100th birthday telegrams/cards to delighted recipients. In passing, a recent article in The Independent noted the expected number of Britons aged 100 or more would be 100,000 in 25 years time and calculated that our then monarch will be congratulating centenarians “at a rate of 250
“New figures tell us that the richest 4,000 taxpayers in the UK, the total number of UK income taxpayers who earn more than £2million a year, pay 4.5 % of the UK’s income tax. Discuss.” At the end of last month, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) released data on Income Tax Liability Statistics and shortly after, discussion around a headline statistic from the report kicked off ‘heated debate’ on a late night
One of the most significant social changes facing countries across the globe today is the ‘ageing population’ phenomenon – a shift in the distribution (increasing the median age) of a country’s population towards older ages. Whilst the UK’s population increases apace – from 50 million in 1951 to 63 million in 2011, heading to a currently projected 80 million by 2051, the proportion aged 65 years old and over is increasing
After a short review, the Office for National Statistics has decided to leave the Retail Price Index (RPI) unchanged. Instead, a new additional index of inflation – RPIJ (the ‘J’ stands for Jevons, a new geometric formula) – will be brought in by March 2013. It’s a very important issue. The RSS statement on the announcement spells it out: “how inflation measures are calculated is not just a technical issue for
Happy 2013 ! An opportunity for a fresh start, a new era. A time when most of us (let’s admit it) have given some thought to New Year resolutions. But which resolutions? and how good are we at keeping them? The top 10 most common resolutions* are listed at Statistic Brain and we can reveal that…at no 1 we have… ”Lose weight’ and at no 10 we have ‘Spend more time with family’.
A new report Measuring the Economic Benefits of Mathematical Science Research spells out and puts a figure on the economic value of maths research in the UK. Its messages are powerful. Researchers found that the value added to the economy by maths research directly is £208 billion, approximately 16% of the UK’s total Gross value added (GVA) (the value of output less the value of intermediate consumption). It is estimated that in 2010,
With the UK education landscape seemingly set for major change…..it is interesting to see what the latest statistics are telling us about the performance of the UK’s education system compared with other developed countries and the particular challenges the UK faces. This month’s Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) ‘Education at a Glance’ report, compares the performance of OECD countries’ education systems. “High-performing countries” achieve high levels of equity for all students regardless of socio-economic background and
British workers are noticeably less productive on average than those in comparable countries. According to the Office for National Statistics, output per worker was 20 percentage points lower than in the other top countries, which make up the G7. Output per worker has fallen, relative to most of those countries, since the recession started in 2008. But the figures may reflect a characteristic of the UK labour market that has shown through other recent data.
MPs on the Commons Science and Technology committee would like us to have a more informed public conversation about the risks attached to different kinds of energy, especially nuclear. After the disaster at Fukushima last year (pictured), opinion in the UK has not moved dramatically – in comparison, say, to Germany – but the MPs feel debate is clouded by mistrust and misperception. ‘Public trust is key to how risks