Sunday, 28 November 2010

More on the "birth quote" that took "Flight" out of the window

Courtesy of Burning our Money we find that the ONS does not actually produce any statistics, that are readily available, on births to unmarried mothers. However BOM, being a resourceful chap, did a little more digging into this procreating question. From his post:

"But there are some local stats which cast a very interesting light on how baby production incentives work in areas where alternative employment opportunities are limited. And they are the stats that show for each local authority area the percentage of births that are to unmarried mothers.

Across the country as a whole, that percentage is now 45% - ie nearly half of all births are now to unmarried mothers. But in some areas of the country that percentage is
much higher.

In 2009, the highest was in Blackpool, where no fewer than 69% of babies were born outside marriage. In Blackpool to be born to married parents puts you in a minority of just 31% of your peers.

Joint second highest were Easington and Hartlepool on 68%. And here's the whole top 10 (the national average is 45% remember):

Spot the pattern?

Take a moment to study the list.

Yes, that's correct - all of these areas are in economic black spots up North and in South Wales. All have relatively high unemployment rates, relatively low wages, and rather limited alternative career options for girls at the bottom. All have relatively high welfare dependency.

Compare and contrast with the areas where the percentage of births outside marriage are lowest (ie where the vast majority of babies are born to married couples).

The very lowest, on just 27%, is the Royal Borough itself - leafy Windsor and Maidenhead. Then comes Wokingham (29%), Slough (32%), Surrey (32%), and the somewhat inappropriately named Rutland (33%).

And what have all those areas got in common?

Yes, right again - relatively low unemployment, relatively high wages, and relatively low welfare dependency. In other words, a career having kids has to be relatively less attractive."
Taking this set of statistics one stage further, consider:

Of the three Blackpool constituencies, all three are, or were until the 2010 election, Labour - with two having changed to Conservative representation.
Easington: Labour.
Halton: Labour.
Hartlepool: Labour.
Kingston upon Hull: Two constituencies, both Labour.
Merthyr Tydfil: Labour.
North East Lincolnshire: Majority representation: Labour.
Blenau Gwent: Labour.
Redcar: Labour, gained by the Lib/Dems in 2010.
Rhondda: Labour. 

Bearing in mind policies pursued by the last government - and the fact that the local authories are no doubt Labour controlled - one has to ask: 

Just who is screwing who?


IanPJ said...

Fine piece of statistical analysis WfW.

Witterings From Witney said...

My thanks, once again, for your kind comment!