A few interesting figures from the new Regional Trends report

Students and employment:

61.5% of undergraduate students are both studying and from/living in the West Midlands. It seems we’re unique in the UK in staying close to home when we go to university.

“The West Midlands had the highest level [ of graduates who combine employment and further study ], at 10.1 per cent.”

And it seems we have the UK’s second-lowest rate of “not available for employment” after graduation, at 3.8%.

Manufacturing still “employed around 25 per cent of total male employees” in the West Midlands.

Internet access:

Only 50% of households have “internet access” in the West Midlands [ Chapter 8, figure 8.14, drawing on the Expenditure and Food Survey ] , compared to 53% in England as a whole. No figures in the report on how/when/if it’s used, or who in the household uses it.

Travel:

25% of West Midlands households “do not have access to” a car.

“The West Midlands was the only region that saw a reduction in the distance people travelled by rail – of nearly 37 per cent.” [ during the period 2003/04 to 2005/06, for all trips ]