Daily Archives: January 3, 2013

Chris Cook

Students From Liverpool's John Moore University Receive Their Degrees Today’s UCAS statistics are pretty grim: the number of people applying to UK universities is falling, and the drops are big. A 6 per cent fall in applications since last year is a big deal.

At the same stage last year, 321,908 people had applied for places. This year, it is 303,861. At the 2011 peak, it was 344,064. These are preliminary results: lots of students are still weighing their options and will apply in the coming months, but it is a big fall. 

Valentina Romei

Labour productivity continues to fall in the UK, today’s latest ONS release shows.

Output per hour dropped by 0.2% in Quarter 3, 2012, compared to the previous quarter. This means a fall of over 2% compared to the same period last year and over 3% compared to the pre-crisis period. This is a particularly striking drop considering than in the five years before the financial crisis labour productivity rose by over 12%.

The reasons for this remain rather a puzzle. And a look at other European countries confirms that the UK is unusual. But it’s not unique. Most core European countries had a drop in productivity levels compared to those in the US. But their performance varied considerably during the last few years of economic crisis, as this chart highlights … 

Kate Allen

Someone who was born on the last day of 1899 would now be 113 years old. There are just a handful of people of this age left on Earth. They are the last remaining survivors of the 19th century; what in Britain was the Victorian Age and internationally historian Eric Hobsbawm dubbed the “age of Empire”.

Only 16 of these links to history now remain alive*, according to the latest data by specialist research team the Gerontology Research Group.

The vast majority of these super-centenarians live in Japan and the US. Four of the world’s five oldest people live in Japan. Japan is also the stand-out leader in population density terms, with 12.8m citizens per 19th century survivor, compared to the US’s 28.4m.