This social indicators summary has been produced as part of the Compendium of UK Statistics. It sits alongside the population and migration and economy themes and presents key comparable statistics for the four countries of the UK. The statistics provided are the latest comparable figures as available on 5 June 2014. There will be no further updates before 18 September 2014.
The full data catalogue provides web links to the statistical releases and assessments of the comparability of the statistics. The figures presented here have been assessed as fully comparable.
For more detail please see the text below the infographic and the ‘find out more’ page.
Poverty, Wealth and Social Security
In 2010/12, England was the wealthiest country of Great Britain with a median household total wealth1 of £224,300. This compared with £207,400 in Wales and £165,500 in Scotland, which had the lowest median household total wealth in Great Britain in 2010/12. No comparable data for Northern Ireland are available.
Average weekly household expenditure for 2010-12 was £491.00 in England, £480.90 in Northern Ireland, £437.30 in Scotland and £411.30 in Wales.
Based on a three year average ending in 2011/12, 16% of individuals in England were living in relative low income, before housing costs2. The equivalent figures were 19% in Wales, 15% in Scotland and 21% in Northern Ireland.
In 2009/10 to 2011/12, the proportion of children living in households where income is below the relative poverty threshold (before housing costs)3 was highest in Wales and Northern Ireland, both at 23%. This compared with 18% in England and 17% in Scotland.
In 2012/13, benefits expenditure for England was £138.2 billion, compared with £9.1 billion in Wales, £14.6 billion in Scotland and £5.3 billion in Northern Ireland, in nominal terms.
In 2012/13, 4.6 million families received tax credits in the UK, of which 83% (3.8 million) lived in England, followed by 8% (365,000) in Scotland, 5% (244,000) in Wales and 4% (162,000) in Northern Ireland. These proportions are similar to the overall proportion of families in the UK with dependent children living in the four countries.
In 2012, the age-standardised mortality rate4 for the UK was 538.6 deaths per 100,000 population. This compared with rates per 100,000 population of 523.9 in England, 567.8 in Wales, 640.1 in Scotland and 567.0 in Northern Ireland.
In 2008-10, 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.
According to the 2011 Census, 8.3% (4.4 million) of people’s day-to-day activities, in England, were limited ‘a lot’ by a long-term health problem or disability, including problems related to old age. This compared to 11.9% (364,000) of people in Wales, 9.6% (506,000) of people in Scotland and 11.9% (215,000) of people in Northern Ireland.
In 2012, 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. While data on alcohol consumption is collected in Northern Ireland, it is not comparable with this source.
Crime and Justice
The Crime Survey for England and Wales and the Northern Ireland Crime Survey produce comparable estimates. For 2012/13, household crime was estimated at 217 crimes per 1,000 households in England and Wales and 110 crimes per 1,000 households in Northern Ireland. For personal crime, the equivalent figures were 75 crimes per 1,000 adults for England and Wales and 46 crimes per 1,000 adults for Northern Ireland. Data from the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey are not directly comparable.
For the year ending March 2013 the rate of police recorded crime in Northern Ireland was 55 offences per 1,000 population. The equivalent figure in England was 64 offences per 1,000 population and in Wales was 57 offences per 1,000 population. Figures for England and Wales are not National Statistics. Figures for Scotland are not directly comparable due to differences in crime recording practices.
Education and Skills
In 2013, 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 39.4% (1.3 million). In England, the proportion was 35.0% (11.8 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 31.4% and 28.1% (593,000 and 325,000) respectively.
In 2013, the constituent country with the highest proportion of usual residents aged 16 to 64 with no qualifications was Northern Ireland at 17.2% (199,000), compared with the UK average of 9.5% (3.8 million). In Wales, 10.6% (200,000) of usual residents aged 16 to 64 had no qualifications and in Scotland, the proportion was 10.3% (349,000). Usual residents of England were least likely to have no qualifications at 9.1% (3.1 million) of those aged 16 to 64.
Culture and Society
In Quarter 1 2014, there were 44.6 million adults in the UK who had ever used the internet, representing 87% of the adult population. Northern Ireland had the lowest proportion of internet users at 79% of its population, compared with 84% in Wales and 87% in Scotland.
At the 2010 General Election, the minimal unadjusted turnout rate (including votes rejected at the count, but excluding postal votes deemed invalid) was highest in England at 65.7%. This was followed by Wales and Scotland at 64.9% and 63.9% respectively. The turnout rate was lowest in Northern Ireland at 58.0%.
1. Median total household wealth is a net wealth measure created by adding together the different types of household wealth; property wealth (net), financial wealth (net), physical wealth and private pension wealth. It should be noted that it does not include business assets, accrued rights to state pensions or assets held in Trusts.
2. Individuals living in relative low income refers to the proportion of individuals who have an income which is less than 60% of contemporary median household income, before housing costs. Figures for individuals with incomes that meet this definition after housing costs have been deducted are also published. For more information, refer to the social indicators data catalogue.
3. Children living in relative low income households refer to the proportion of children living in households where income is less than 60% of contemporary median household income, before housing costs. Figures for the proportion of children living in households which meet this definition after housing costs have been deducted are also published. For more information, refer to the social indicators data catalogue.
4. These rates are age-standardised to the 1976 European Standard Population.
5. Prior to 2010, HLE estimates for Northern Ireland were derived from the Continuous Household Survey (CHS). From 2010 onwards, estimates have been derived from the Health Survey Northern Ireland (HSNI). This has resulted in a slight decline in the prevalence of ‘very good’ and ‘good’ general health and a slight increase in the prevalence of limiting persistent illness or disability compared to what might have been expected from the CHS. This may have impacted the estimates of HLE for Northern Ireland in 2008-10.
For estimates which are derived from surveys, differences between the countries may not be statistically significant. Please see the data catalogue for more information about sources of data.