Two out of three Scottish adults believe it is 'sometimes necessary to smack a naughty child,' while three out of four believe the proposed ban on smacking is likely to 'criminalise reasonable parents.' Source: ComRes poll. The cost of childcare for young children in England increased seven times faster than wages between 2008 and 2016. Single parents working full-time with a one-year-old child in nursery for 21 hours a week spent more than a fifth of their wages on childcare last year. Source: TUC. Reports of self-harm among girls aged 13 to 16 rose steeply – by 68% – from a rate of 45.9 per 10,000 in 2011 to 77 per 10,000 in 2014. Source: University of Manchester. Online dating may be breaking down society's racial divisions, encouraging us to explore other social circles. It could lead to more integrated societies. Source: University of Essex/ University of Vienna. Police in England and Wales recorded 5.2m criminal offences from January to June this year. Violent crime increased by 19% to 1.2m cases, while the number of sexual offences – 129,700 – increased by 19% to the highest-ever recorded level. Source: Office for National Statistics. More than 10% of 18-24 year olds are victims of online scams, the most common of which is when criminals hack into social media accounts and pretend to be the account holders, persuading friends and family to transfer money to them. The average loss is £613 per scam. Source: Get Safe Online. Brits snacked on an extra 66,000 tonnes of cake in the past year. Sales of cake increased by 2% to £1.5bn, while that of biscuits fell by 1.2% to £2.6bn. Source: Kantor Worldpanel. Local councils in England had to deal with over one million incidents of fly-tipping in 2016-17, costing the taxpayer £58m. Two-thirds of the fly-tipping material consisted of household waste and the worst-offending area was Enfield in London. Source: Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). A study of the Tinder dating app found that men tend to focus on looks while women look for evidence of intelligence and stability. Source: Aberdeen University.
Almost half of offers by Oxford and Cambridge Universities between 2010 and 2015 were to applicants from London and the south-east, and only three of Oxford's 32 colleges regularly make an offer to a black A-level applicant. 80% of students accepted at Oxbridge between 2010 and 2015 had parents classified as in 'top professional and managerial jobs.' Source: FOI answer. Ambitious graduates are no longer interested in careers in banking because they are 'socially conscious.' Source: Teach First.
The national debt, excluding the bail-out to the banks, stands at a new record high of £1.79 trillion, 87.2% of GDP. Source: HM Treasury. The unemployment rate in Scotland rose by 0.3% to 4.1% from June to August this year. In the same period, the number of people employed in Scotland rose by 40,000 to a rate of 75.3%. Source: Office for National Statistics. 88% of firms on Scottish islands say they face greater challenges than mainland businesses, including the problem of trying to encourage young people to stay and young families to move in. Source: Federation of Small Businesses. In the last year 802 Scottish businesses became insolvent – 23% less than the previous year. Source: KPMG. 30% of UK workers – 15m people – don't pay into a pension and may have to keep working into their 70s or 80s to make ends meet. Source: Financial Conduct Authority. Less than half of millennials (those born between 1981 and 2000) are expected to own their own home by the age of 45. Source: Institute for Public Policy Research. 50% of people in the UK have an average household wealth of £3,200 in terms of net finance, property and pensions. For the richest 10%, this figure is £1.32m. Source: Institute for Public Policy Research. UK retail sales in September fell by 0.8% as rising inflation eroded consumers' disposable income. Source: Office for National Statistics. Commuting for an extra 20 minutes each day has the same effect on our job satisfaction as a 19% pay cut. Better job satisfaction is achieved by walking or cycling to work. Source: University of the West of England.
An enormous 500km cave has been found on the moon which could be used as an exploration base for astronauts. Source: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). A mass equivalent to 1,500 Earths has disappeared from the middle of the Sun. Source: Stockholm University. Bees on urban rooftops and in suburban gardens produced more honey per hive this year than bees in rural gardens. Source: British Beekeepers Association. The number of flying insects, including moths, bees and butterflies, has declined by 75% over 30 years in Germany. 'Windscreen phenomenon' – whereby bugs are killed by hitting car windscreens – could be partly responsible for the decline. Source: Radboud University. There is clear evidence that dogs move their faces in direct response to human attention, but it is not simply a ploy to manipulate their owners into feeding them. Source: University of Portsmouth. Pollution killed 9 million people in 2015. Source: The Lancet.
2,895 doctors registered in Scotland are 'almost certain to be working abroad' and Scotland needs to recruit 850 more GPs by 2020. Source: General Medical Council/ Royal College of General Practitioners. Our consciousness continues to work after our body has died and some people may have heard their own death announced by medics. Source: New York University Langone School of Medicine. When the body is forced to carry out mental activity at the same time as physical exercise, the brain wins over the body and physical performance suffers. Source: University of Cambridge. A new stem cell treatment could bring relief to sufferers of chronic lower back pain, replacing the use of opioids. Source: Itescu. People who stop eating junk food in their 30s have more stamina and better balance after 60. Source: University of Southampton. Women who give birth in winter and spring are less likely to suffer 'baby blues' than those who have babies in better weather. Source: Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston. A fifth of women who use sunbeds are addicted to them and tend to suffer from depression. Source: Georgetown University Medical Center. A protein called 'Hira' has been found which can stop viruses developing. Source: University of the West of Scotland. Moderate drinking by parents can have a negative impact on children, causing anxiety and disrupting bedtime routines. Source: Institute of Alcohol Studies. Living near trees makes us less stressed and strengthens an area of the brain – the amygdala. Source: University Medical Centre, Hamburg-Eppendorf.
The average Brit spends £78.42 each month on takeaway food, with Chinese the most popular. Top monthly spenders are found in London (£107), Edinburgh (£92) and Birmingham (£89). Source: Deliveroo. Children in the UK get an average pocket money of £5.57 each week. Three-fifths are expected to earn it by doing chores. Source: Dr Beckmann. Walking, no matter where, who with, or why, improves our mood. Source: Iowa State University.
Alcohol can improve bilingual speakers' ability to learn a new second language. Source: University of Liverpool/ King's College London/ Maastricht University. An account called 'The Cat Reviewer’ has been created on Twitter, where people can send photos and rate felines they meet in daily life. It has attracted 40,000 followers. Source: Metro.