Yesterday the ONS released data on real wages going back until 1975 and as you might expect they show that median wages have grown pretty dramatically over the last 40 years or so.

Coincidentally 1975 was also the year that saw the passage of the Sex Discrimination Act and the Equal Pay Act. For younger women the legal and social changes since 1975 have had some success. Throughout their teens, twenties and thirties men and women now earn comparable amounts. In 1975 men earned substantially more at every single age. Read more

In case you’ve forgotten, England did take part in the 2014 World Cup. But despite uncharacteristically low expectations from the watching English public, Roy Hodgson’s side slunk under this low bar, flying home after two defeats and a goalless draw with the global footballing powerhouse Costa Rica.

What went wrong? Countless theories abound – some better than others – but some relatively simple maths may be able to explain at least one of the factors involved: statistically speaking, England were bereft of luck. Read more

Britons need to reduce dramatically the amount of sugar they eat, according to a new report from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN). The government recommends that 10 per cent of calories ought to come from sugar, but the SACN suggests this should be halved to address rising obesity.

A quarter of adults in the UK are thought to be obese, up from just 15 per cent in 1980. Read more

Isis in Iraq interactive map

The offensive of insurgent groups led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (known as Isis) has taken Iraq to the brink of a sectarian civil war. Iraq’s army buckled under the advance last week, allowing Sunni militants to over-run major towns and cities, including Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city.

While Isis aims to wipe away post-colonial borders to create an Islamic state across much of Syria and Iraq, it joined with other Sunni insurgent groups opposed to the Shia government in Baghdad. With Kurds in northern Iraq also seeing an opportunity to consolidate greater autonomy, the crisis theatens Iraq’s very existence. Read more

In September, the Scottish people will vote in a referendum that could see the country break away from the rest of the UK.

Using polling data collated by the UK Polling Report and What Scotland Thinks, we have analysed all polls conducted in the past year that used the referendum question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?” Read more

The 2013 British Social Attitude survey, released today, mainly focuses on questions of national identity and alongside asking everyone about questions on immigration and Britishness, asks Scots specifically a set of questions about their attitudes to nationhood and independence. Read more