The phrase ‘2.4 children’ refers to the stereotypical family size in this country. But does it still hold true? As the ONS publishes its first analysis of births that took place in England and Wales in 2018, Nick Stripe takes a look at whether it’s time to change that number.
Cast your mind back to the nineties. The era of Britpop and football coming home, where things could only get better. The sitcom 2Point4 Children, starring Belinda Lang and Gary Olsen, introduced Bill and Ben Porter to BBC viewers on the 3rdSeptember 1991. It ran until the 30th December 1999, just as the new millennium party was getting into full swing.
Strictly speaking, Bill and Ben only had two children, David and Jenny. But dad, Ben, had juvenile tendencies which, helpfully, meant that there were 2.4 kids really. How typical were they then and now?
The broad picture painted by our analysis of births in 2018 is one of decreases and record lows. A birth rate of 11.1 births per 1,000 total population was the lowest ever recorded. And a fertility rate of 1.7 children per woman, was lower than all years except 1977 and 1999–2002.
How things have changed
At the height of the ‘baby boom’ in the late 1940s and mid 1960s, England and Wales was the scene of nearly 900,000 births per year. This represented a birth rate of around 20 births for every 1,000 people in the country. If the fertility rates of those years had persisted, women would, on average, have each given birth to around 2.8 children. This is known as the ‘total’ fertility rate. It projects forward how many children the average woman would have if she experienced that year’s ‘age-specific’ fertility rates throughout her life.
Source: Whatever happened to 2 Point 4 children? | National Statistical
EXCLUSIVE – The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is using data collected by a not-for-profit social research organisation to compare to its own records so as to snoop on benefit claimants. Claimants have raised fears that they will be targeted for giving poor responses to the survey. The DWP themselves refused to answer any questions about its partnership with the company.
NatCen Social Research is an independent not-for-profit social research organisation that undertakes research for a range of government bodies including the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
The organisation is contracted to deliver the Family Resources Survey (FRS) on behalf of DWP and Office for National Statistics (ONS).
According to the government website, the Family Resources Survey (FRS) is;
“An annual report that provides facts and figures about the incomes and living circumstances of households and families in the UK.”
The Family Resources Survey (FRS) is a continuous household survey published annually provide statistics on a household and individuals;
- Savings & Income from all sources
- Housing status
- Any caring needs and responsibilities
- Pension participation
I became aware of NatCen Research after being contacted by several people who claimed they’d been harassed by the company’s researchers. They also raised fears that the DWP would be using their responses to snoop on them.
- Source: DWP using research data to snoop on claimants
Universal Credit Sufferer
New figures obtained by a disabled people’s organisation – after ministers refused to commission the work themselves – appear to show how the government relies on the growth in self-employment and part-time jobs to exaggerate its success in increasing disability employment.
Ministers such as work and pensions secretary Esther McVey have repeatedly boasted of how their policies have led to hundreds of thousands more disabled people in work over the last five years.
But those claims have been based on figures provided by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which includes in its measure of “employment” people who are in part-time work, are self-employed, or are on government training and jobs programmes.
Ministers in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) refused to commission work from ONS – which it told Disability News Service would cost just £125 (plus VAT) – that would show the full, detailed figures.
Now London’s pan-disability disabled people’s organisation Inclusion London has commissioned the work itself from ONS, at the same price of £125 plus VAT.
The new ONS figures* obtained by Inclusion London show that nearly half of the increase in disability employment in the last four years has been due to disabled people becoming self-employed or taking part-time jobs.
Between 2013-14 and 2017-18, the number of full-time disabled employees rose by about 383,000, while the number of disabled people in part-time jobs, self-employment, government training programmes and employed as unpaid family workers increased by about 366,000.
During this period, the number of disabled people in self-employment increased by more than 22 per cent, when the number of non-disabled people who were self-employed rose by just nine per cent.
Source: New job stats raise questions over ministers’ boasts on disability employment | DisabledGo News and Blog
I have been saying this for some time, that it is Government policy to kill, the poor, the sick, the elderly and the disabled as that is a sure fire way of reducing the benefits bill. If claimants die then that is less claimants.
I call it Governmental Euthanasia,
Ministers are refusing to commission work that would cost just £125 and would show how many disabled people are in full-time paid employment, and how that number has changed under successive Tory-led governments.
Ministers, including the current work and pensions secretary Esther McVey, have repeatedly boasted of how their policies have led to an increase of hundreds of thousands of disabled people in work, including a rise of nearly 600,000 between April 2013 and June 2017.
But those claims are based on figures provided by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which includes in its measure of “employment” people who are in part-time work, are self-employed, and those in government-supported training and employment programmes.
This means there are no published government figures that show how many disabled people are in full-time paid employment, and how that number has risen or fallen under successive governments since 2010.
To try to find those statistics, Disability News Service (DNS) submitted a freedom of information request to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), asking for figures for each of the last 10 years for how many disabled people were in full-time, paid jobs.
DWP replied that “this information is not held by the department” and suggested that DNS approach ONS instead.
Source: DWP refuses to pay £125 to discover number of disabled people in full-time jobs | DisabledGo News and Blog
UK workers are continuing to experience near stagnant wage rises, despite record numbers of people in work and low unemployment levels, the latest labour market survey from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals.
ONS data published this week shows there were 32.39 million people in work between November 2017 to January 2018 and February to April 2018, 146,000 more than for November 2017 to January 2018 and 440,000 more than for a year earlier, with an overall employment rate of 75.6%.
According to the survey results, there were 1.42 million unemployed people in the last quarter, 38,000 fewer than for November 2017 to January 2018 and 115,000 fewer than for a year earlier. The official unemployment rate fell from 4.6% to 4.2%, in spite of concerns over Brexit and a struggling highstreet.
The number of people regarded as “economically inactive” ( those not working and not seeking or available to work) fell by 72,000, or 21.0% – the lowest since records began in 1971.
However, real-terms wages increased by just 0.4% excluding bonuses,and continue to lag behind inflation, which currently stands at around 2.4%.
Source: ‘Wage growth stuck in the slow lane’ despite high employment : Welfare Weekly
Buried deep in a note towards the end of a recent bulletin published by the British government’s statistical agency was a startling revelation. On average, people in the UK are now projected to live shorter lives than previously thought.
In their projections, published in October 2017, statisticians at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimated that by 2041, life expectancy for women would be 86.2 years and 83.4 years for men. In both cases, that’s almost a whole year less than had been projected just two years earlier. And the statisticians said life expectancy would only continue to creep upwards in future.
As a result, and looking further ahead, a further one million earlier deaths are now projected to happen across the UK in the next 40 years by 2058. This number was not highlighted in the report. But it jumped out at us when we analysed the tables of projections published alongside it.
It means that the 110 years of steadily improving life expectancy in the UK are now officially over. The implications for this are huge and the reasons the statistics were revised is a tragedy on an enormous scale.
A rising tide of life
Source: Life expectancy in Britain has fallen so much that a million years of life could disappear by 2058 – why?