Monthly Archives: January 2013

Martin Stabe

By Martin Stabe and Callum Locke

The latest England and Wales census data throw a spotlight onto an increasingly multi-lingual population – at least where London is concerned. In the capital one in five households do not speak English as their main language. However, London is far from representative of the country as a whole.

You can use this interactive map to explore clusters of languages around the country. Choose the language in the drop down menu, then zoom into areas of interest.

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Valentina Romei

House prices in Europe are falling according to Eurostat’s first house price index. House prices are widely monitored at a national level but there is shortage of comparable measures across countries. This new index partially covers this gap, but the picture it portrays is not encouraging.

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Kate Allen

Today’s census data release offers a fascinating picture of linguistic diversity in England and Wales. In particular, it sheds useful light on London’s population.

The capital city differs strongly from the rest of the country in its demographic profile. But at a more granular level, the city contains some striking contrasts. In fact, in some ways it seems to be two cities, each living on top of, but almost invisible to, the other (a concept that will be familiar to fans of novelist China Mieville). Read more

One million households in England and Wales do not speak English as their main language with Polish the most common foreign tongue, new data from the 2011 census revealed on Wednesday.

The survey also showed married households were in a minority for the first time since records began and that the number of unrelated adults sharing houses has shot up 28 per cent over the decade.

London has by far the largest proportion of non-English speakers with almost one in four adults with a foreign language as their mother tongue. White ethnic Britons are now a minority in London, data released last month showed.All London boroughs apart from the City of London reported more than 100 primary languages.

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Chris Cook

There is an iron law in English education: as any given argument about any problem with schools progresses, the probability that someone will claim grammar schools are the solution rapidly tends towards 1.

I thought I would set out the data on the grammar counties, where children are sorted at the age of 11 according to an academic test.

To do this, I have defined a new region of England: Selectivia. I have removed the biggest selective counties – Kent, Lincolnshire, Medway and Buckinghamshire – from their geographical regions and shoved them together into one new region*. So what is it like? First, you can see that this region is quite well off, compared to most regions, especially London.

Region IDACI score FSM
East Midlands 0.195 12.0%
East of England 0.168 9.2%
London 0.340 22.4%
North East 0.245 17.4%
North West 0.233 16.2%
Selectivia 0.162 8.8%
South East 0.150 8.3%
South West 0.164 9.4%
West Midlands 0.236 16.4%
Yorkshire and the Humber 0.216 14.6%

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How much do parents value a safe environment, green spaces and a good education for their children? Such things are priceless – except that, of course, they are not. The best things in life may be free, but buying a house in the vicinity of the best things in life is expensive.

Economic researchers use house prices like a movie jewel-thief uses an aerosol spray. The aerosol isn’t important by itself, but it reveals the otherwise invisible laser beams that will trigger the alarm. The house prices aren’t necessarily of much direct interest, but indirectly they reveal our willingness to pay for anything from a neighbourhood free of known sex offenders to the more familiar example of a popular school. Read more