More than a million Scots live in areas at risk of 'transport poverty', which is defined as a lack of access to essential services or work because of a lack of affordable transport. Source: Sustrans Scotland. One in three care services in Scotland reported unfilled vacancies in 2016, with particular trouble filling places related to care at home and housing services. Source: Care Inspectorate. The number of jobs advertised for social care workers increased by 64% to 10,747 last month due to EU nationals leaving the UK. Source: Reed.co.uk. The number of hate crimes in England and Wales increased by 29% in the last year, from 62,518 to 80,393. Reported hate crimes against disabled children increased from 269 incidents in 2014-15 to 450 incidents in 2015-16 – an increase of 67%. Source: Home Office. The number of reported crimes related to online dating has increased by 382% from 140 in 2011 to 676 in 2016. Source: UK police forces. Of the 696,271 babies born in England and Wales last year, only 2.1% were born at home. Source: Office for National Statistics. There are 413,000 citizens of Romania and Bulgaria living in the UK compared with 234,000 two years ago. Source: Office for National Statistics. The UK is the largest host of fentanyl sales (an opioid drug up to 100 times stronger than heroin) on the darknet in Europe. Source: Oxford Internet Institute. 153 people across the world have been killed this year while defending their community’s land, natural resources or wildlife. Source: Global Witness. Loud conversations, texting on the move and looking at your mobile while someone is trying to speak to you are the most annoying phone habits. Source: Carphone Warehouse. The biggest anxieties for people under the age of 35 are money, health, body image and fitting in, buying a house and paying off the mortgage. Source: Channel 5 poll. 49% of people in 23 countries surveyed believe that religion does more harm than good. In the UK the percentage is 62%. Source: Ipsos.
Every year spent in education adds approximately 11 months to our lifespan. Source: Edinburgh University. 44,667 primary pupils in Scotland were taught in classes of 30 or more last year. Source: Scottish Government.
The UK inflation rate hit its highest level in over five years last month – 3%. Source: Office for National Statistics. A new referendum or a change of government leading to the UK staying within the EU would have a significant positive impact on UK growth. Source: OECD. Although Christmas is two months away, Brits have already spent £4m on mince pies and £1m on Christmas puddings in supermarkets. Source: Kantar Worldpanel. Average house prices in the UK rose by 5% in the year to August. The north-west of England showed the highest annual growth with 6.5%. Scottish house prices rose by 3.9% to an average of £146,000. Source: Office for National Statistics/Land Registry. 5.1 million workers in Britain are classed as low paid compared with 5.4 million last year. Low pay is defined as less than £8.25 an hour. 61% of low-paid employees are women. Source: Resolution Foundation. The number of 18-34 year olds in the UK who have become insolvent jumped by 31.3% between 2015 and 2016. Source: Insolvency Service. Young families who live in seaside towns suffer the worst debt levels. Source: BBC. Edinburgh Central is Scotland's most enterprising constituency for small businesses, containing 7,065 firms last year. Second was Glasgow Kelvin with 6,715 small businesses. Source: Federation of Small Businesses.
More hurricane-force storms will hit the UK due to human-induced climate change. Source: University of Bristol. Artificial intelligence may already exist elsewhere in the universe and could have been around for billions of years. Source: University of Connecticut. It is possible that a solar flare will hit Earth in the next 100 years, destroying electricity grids, satellite communications and the internet. Source: Harvard University. An amount of gold – weighing roughly the same as the mass of Earth – was created on the far side of the universe 130 million years ago by two ultra-dense neutron stars. The gravitational waves have just reached Earth. Source: Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (Ligo) Laboratory, Caltech. Over three-quarters of people surveyed believe it is more moral for driverless cars to be programmed to choose to save the lives of pedestrians – even if the only other option is to cause its passengers to die instead. Source: Science journal. 3,200-year-old skeletons found in the Andes with severe head and facial injuries could reveal more about an early culture which used ritual violence and ceremonial mutilation. Source: National University of San Marcos. Sharks are not attracted to humans and thrive best in remote reefs up to 25 hours away from cities. Source: French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development.
Hospitals across the UK in the past year failed to meet NHS targets for cancer, A&E and planned operations, although Scotland did meet three A&E targets. Source: BBC. 10,341 children in Scotland waited longer than the 18-week target for specialist mental health care between December 2014 and June 2017. Source: Scottish Liberal Democrats. The number of children in Scotland with suicidal thoughts who used counselling sessions provided by Childline increased by 17% between 2015-16 and 2016-17. Source: NSPCC. Magic mushrooms can treat depression by 'rebooting' the brain. Source: Scientific Reports journal. The number of deaths in Scotland last winter (December 2016-March 2017) increased by 421 to 20,930. Source: National Records for Scotland. 87% of the most affluent Scots took part in some sort of physical or sporting activity in the last four weeks, compared with 69% of the poorest. Source: Scottish Household Survey. Encouraging older people to 'take it easy' is damaging their health and costing the UK billions in social care. Instead we should be encouraging them to take more exercise, which can delay physical decline by as much as a decade. Source: Oxford University. In Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurants, sales of sugar-sweetened soft drinks fell by 9% after a 10p price rise. Source: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine/ University of Cambridge. Stress is as damaging as a high-fat diet for women. Source: Brigham Young University. One in four workers believe their work performance is being affected by lack of sleep. Most would like to have up to eight hours of sleep a night, but only manage between five and seven hours. Source: CV-Library.
There are 5,000 slang terms for criminals, 4,500 for drinking and drunks, 4,000 for drugs, 2,500 for fools, 1,200 for whores, 1,000 for the police, even 210 for vomiting. Source: The Stories of Slang, by Jonathan Green. Riots caused by droughts and natural disasters may have led to the fall of ancient Egypt. Source: Yale University. Monday is the worst day of the week, with millions of us feeling miserable. Source: University of Vermont.