Office for National Statistics West Midlands newsletter September-October 2010

Office for National StatisticsThis is the last newsletter from ONS West Midlands – the regional statistician service ceased in the West Midlands as of 21 October 2010.

The newsletter contains information on statistical consultations together with recent and planned ONS publications that might be of interest to you.

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New ONS products to help child poverty analysis

Painting pictures of place series local profiles - centre for regional and local statistics - Office for National Statistics

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have created three products to assist understanding and analysis of child poverty in a locality, as part of  a collaborative project between the ONS East and West Midlands Regional Statisticians, and ONS Area Based Analysis.

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Office for National Statistics West Midlands newsletter July-August 2010

Office for National StatisticsThis newsletter contains information on statistical consultations together with recent and planned ONS publications that might be of interest to you.
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Local tourism industries generate over 6% of the region’s total economic output

According to an analysis by the Tourism Intelligence Unit at Office for National Statistics, the economic output (‘GVA’) generated by West Midlands-based tourism businesses accounts for a relatively small proportion of overall regional GVA (6.2%) compared to other parts of the UK such as the South West (8.9%) and the North West (8.3%). However, given that under some definitions of the tourism sector (such as the narrower, DCMS definition used in our Culture & Prosperity report), tourism industries appear less important to West Midlands economic output, this new paper may cause a shift in perception to a certain extent.

Boeing 777 on runway at Birmingham AirportIndeed, the paper (and its definition of the tourism sector) may trigger a reassessment of the importance of tourism to the national economy generally. For example, the finding that tourism contributes 7.1% of all GVA in the UK contrasts with a recent study commissioned by VisitBritain, which suggests the visitor economy directly generates 4.0% of UK GDP.

Notes: GVA and GDP measures are different and therefore not directly comparable, but in this instance, it was deemed useful to compare the two studies to explore different assessments of tourism contribution to the overall economy.

Download the full article

Photo by Martin O’Connell

New report confirms growth in local creative workforce

Recent work by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has found a national and regional growth in the level of creative industries employment between 2006 – 2008. According to data sourced from the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR), employment in creative firms across England increased by 11% (compared to a 2% average growth in employment for all sectors). The level of creative industry employment growth in the West Midlands region (+19%) was relatively high compared to other regions and, in line with national trends, was more marked than the average increase for all sectors within the region.  

These findings confirm trends reported last year in our Culture & Prosperity: the economic role of culture in the West Midlands. Although the methodology and timeframe differed slightly across the two papers, the conclusion is the same: a regional growth in creative industry employment compared to the national creative industry average and compared to the average for all regional firms.

Unfortunately, as the author of the paper points out, there are continued issues around getting hold of more recent creative industries data. Both mainstream definitions of the creative sectors (DCMS evidence toolkit & Frontier Economics) use 2003 Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes – rather than the newer 2007 codes.

From 2009, the data for the IDBR has been collected based on the current SIC 2007 codes, something which poses problems for cultural researchers in that the process of converting 2003 codes to 2007 codes leads to data that is not exactly comparable with pre-2009 data. This situation could be seen as problematic during the aftermath of a recession when a clear picture of the economic situation is particularly helpful.

Download the report and accompanying dataset

Notes: The ‘official’ definition of the creative industries sectors used by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) remains that documented in the DCMS Evidence Toolkit. The Frontier Economics definition, although widely known, remains experiential at this time. 

Photo by Dean Terry

Office for National Statistics West Midlands newsletter May/June 2010

Office for National StatisticsThis newsletter contains information on statistical consultations together with recent and planned ONS publications that might be of interest to you.

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West Midlands population estimated to have grown to 5.431 million in 2009

Office for National StatisticsThe population of the West Midlands grew at a lower annual rate than that for England in 2009, according to the latest population estimates released by the Office for National Statistics.

With a population of 5.431 million, the region’s population grew by 0.4 per cent (23,000) on the preceding year.

Natural change (birth minus deaths) was the most significant contributor to the growth at 20,000, whereas net migration accounted for the remainder, and with a value of 3,000, was the lowest of any nation or region in the UK.

Locally within the West Midlands region, the most significant increases in population (in absolute terms) were recorded in:

  • Birmingham  – up 10,000 to 1.029 million
  • Coventry – up 2,000 to 313,000
  • Sandwell – up 2,000 to 291,000

With an increase in population on the preceding year of 0.9 per cent, Birmingham also recorded the largest rate of increase, whereas Stoke-on-Trent’s population is estimated to have decreased by 0.2 per cent.

Across the UK, the population grew to 61.792 million in 2009, an increase of 0.6% on the preceding year, with natural change contributing 217,000 and net migration 177,000.

A detailed breakdown of all the 2009 mid-year population statistics—nationally, regionally and locally, as well as by age groups and gender—are available from the Office for National Statistics.

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