Crunching the Numbers

WHILE Scotland’s child population fell by 3.6% Edinburgh’s child population grew by 4.3% – Scotland’s over-65 population grew by 15.7% but Edinburgh’s grew by much less: 5.2% – these data 2003-13, the period quoted in National Records of Scotland figures – what does this mean for the city’s service planners?

This is the sort of question raised by this year’s annual Edinburgh by Numbers publication – chock-full of data, stats, and facts.

We can also see that while the biggest age-segment of Scotland’s population is the 25-34-year-olds (18.1% female, 18.3% male), in Edinburgh it’s a toss-up between 45-54s (15.0% female, 15.1% male) and 0-14-year-olds (15.1% female, 16.8% male). Does this mean a less active labour force in Edinburgh? A greater need for childcare and schooling? If young males continue to outnumber young females, what does this mean for births in the next decade or two?

The Edinburgh People Survey – another source of data for city planners – tells us that 13.8% of people surveyed had been swimming (the most popular physical activity) in the previous four weeks, while in this city of year-long festivals, a whopping 41.5% admitted to having taken in no live music and no theatre, and visited neither an art gallery or museum (admittedly, the survey question expressly excluded ‘festivals’). Does this mean Edinburgh residents are a poor market for ‘culture’ and The Council should stop spending on it, or that our citizens are not enthused by the culture on offer, so The Council should spend more to improve the offer?

Some of these findings were considered in an earlier blog post ‘Stats going South’ (scroll down). It has been kindly pointed out to me that the City of Edinburgh Council’ Policy & Strategy Committee also considered a follow-up report, with proposals to take action as a result of some unwelcome results.

Who would have guessed that – according to the Office for National Statistics’ report into Personal Well-Being in the UK 2013-14 – Edinburgh people ‘scored’ (on an 11-point scale) 7.7 in response to the question ‘overall to what extent do you feel that the things you do in life are worthwhile?’ and 7.5 responding to the question ‘overall how happy did you feel yesterday?’


Social Economy

INTERESTED in Edinburgh’s ‘Social Economy’? Edinburgh by Numbers draws on statistics from the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). You might like to know that of the 2,169 registered charities based in Edinburgh 986 describe their ‘scope’ as ‘local’ or ‘Edinburgh-wide’ bringing a total of £86.2m into the city – 16% of Edinburgh’s GVA (Gross Value Added) – and employing 36,200 people (not all in Edinburgh).

This sector includes large charities like the £16.8m per annum Port of Leith Housing Association and Universities, of course, but a surprising 66% of Edinburgh charities employ no paid staff, relying entirely on voluntary good-will.

As many as 29% of the city’s population regularly volunteer – this is higher than in Glasgow or Dundee, but below Aberdeen – according to the Scottish Household Survey 2013.

Just over half of these volunteer help out in fields relating to ‘Youth, children, and school activities’.

Finally, the largest single slice of income to Edinburgh’s charities is ‘donations’. The city’s over 2,000 charities rely not only on the volunteer steam provided by city residents, but donations made to these charities is a larger proportion of their income even than funding from Government.


A Tale to Tell

DO take a moment to view, download, and explore Edinburgh by Numbers (#EdinByNumbers on Twitter) – each of those data tables has a tale to tell.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s