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After the break, it's UK 1997 vs UK 2009
July 10, 2010 12:54 AM   Subscribe

How Britain has changed since 1997
posted by Gyan (44 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sign in with my google account?

Is the piece trying to make some sort of Big Brother Technostate point right off the bat?
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:02 AM on July 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not signed in, and I can view it just fine.
posted by Gyan at 1:04 AM on July 10, 2010


106% council tax increase since 2007? Jesus! Number of pubs has decreased by 11%? A goddamned shame.
posted by barnacles at 1:11 AM on July 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thank you Gyan, I enjoyed that.
posted by djgh at 1:47 AM on July 10, 2010


I can't see how they are drunker when there are less pubs and no mention of alcohol. Infographics are good at hiding information so it may be in there somewhere.
posted by bhnyc at 1:56 AM on July 10, 2010


Try the Google Docs viewer alone for a better view or a direct link to the PDF.
posted by whatnotever at 2:01 AM on July 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


It was the leap in average house price vs. average wage that struck me on first blush.
1997 was also the year I moved abroad, so the UK's had it good in that respect at least.
posted by Abiezer at 2:45 AM on July 10, 2010


Interesting stats, but... 1997? Not 2000? Not 1990?
posted by valkyryn at 2:55 AM on July 10, 2010


Election of the previous Labour government, valkyryn, hence a presumed turning point in public policy.
posted by Abiezer at 2:57 AM on July 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


On further consideration, it looks like something of a primer for a pro-cuts agenda, with even and item on 'public support for increasing taxation and public spending'. Lies, damned lies, etc.
posted by Abiezer at 3:05 AM on July 10, 2010


3.7 times to 6.5 times median wages? Christ. That's got to come down.
posted by I_pity_the_fool at 3:05 AM on July 10, 2010


1997 was the year Labour was elected, valkyryn.
posted by mdonley at 3:07 AM on July 10, 2010


Interesting statistics, thanks for the link. But: Is it just me, or do these "infographics" usually make it more difficult to get a good grip of the numbers? Seems like most of these charts are made by graphic designers as opposed to statisticians...
posted by dagny at 3:18 AM on July 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


The stats that really struck me were the declines in proven reserves of natural gas and oil. In those 13 years the UK has burned through about two thirds of the natural gas it had at the start. There may be a bit more to discover, but I'll bet there's not much more.

This is why we won't be able to have nice things.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 3:21 AM on July 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Prospect has been annoying me for a while arguing against diversity and multiculturalism so I'm not sure I trust the immigration stats from them.
posted by shinybaum at 4:05 AM on July 10, 2010


I was surprised at the huge reduction in the 'Sales of the top 5 singles' and it prompted me to look further into the criteria. The rules [PDF] make for interesting reading. Also, thank you to whatnotever for the extra links, I couldn't see the original on my iPad.
posted by unliteral at 4:39 AM on July 10, 2010


I love infographics and this was great browsing.

Being American, what caught my eye was the import/export numbers. Britain imports more than they export to the EU and China but exports more (72 BN) to the U.S. than they import(46 BN). So what are you guys sending us? It must be something more than Walker's shortbread and Fawlty Towers DVDs.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:43 AM on July 10, 2010


MetaFilter: Richer, fatter, living longer, more indebted, drunker, better connected, politically disillusioned.
posted by _Lasar at 4:51 AM on July 10, 2010


Oooo The High Street numbers are interesting: Social clubs, public pools, libraries, and post offices have decreased but the number of betting shops and lap dancing clubs have increased-- you degenerates! No more old gentlemen sitting in club chairs and having a whiskey while they read the paper because now they are all ogling strippers and having a flutter on the gee-gees.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:55 AM on July 10, 2010


It must be something more than Walker's shortbread and Fawlty Towers DVDs.

Mini Coopers, man. Mini Coopers. In lower Manhattan, there's one on every single damn block.

Oh, and I'm not sure if they count it as an export, but BP produces a lot of North Sea oil I'm sure finds it's way into the tanks of our Mini Coopers.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:02 AM on July 10, 2010


Is there any indication about whether the pound figures for financial stuff are inflation-adjusted or not? And whether the percentage comparisons take inflation into account? Otherwise the figures are useless. When it says that the tax changes leave the poor X% better off, and the rich Y% worse off - what does that mean? Percent of annual income? The broken Union Jack at the end is also a model of bad infographics.
posted by stammer at 5:25 AM on July 10, 2010


I was trying to think of British cars and the only thing that came to mind was Rolls Royce and Jaguar-- don't see too many of those, but you're right, the Mini Cooper is popular.

The saddest thing to me was that 71% of Brits think Britain is a worse place to live. Yet education and the NHS have improved and the number of crimes committed (except rape) have decreased. Car deaths are done, teenage pregnancies are down, people are living longer and the poor are better off. Nostalgia, maybe? Or does it really feel like it is a worse place to live despite the actual numbers?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:25 AM on July 10, 2010


The saddest thing to me was that 71% of Brits think Britain is a worse place to live.

You can thank the constant sky-is-falling broken-britain immigrants-are-giving-our-kids-cancer yelping of the tabloids for that.
posted by Drexen at 5:29 AM on July 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


The saddest thing to me was that 71% of Brits think Britain is a worse place to live.

Actually, it's "becoming a worse place to live". Which, given the recession, is hardly surprising - I'd probably agree with that statement because it doesn't necessarily say anything about the long-term trend of things getting better.
posted by ZsigE at 5:34 AM on July 10, 2010


Fascinating stuff. As a Brit I can say we are a nation of complainers - those 71% thinking it's a worse place to live have no idea how valuable the NHS is. I was totally ignorant until I spent some times in the states/read metafilter. Not having access to free universal healthcare is literally unimaginable to most of the population.

The high street stats leapt out at me too, that's sobering stuff - my parents social lives revolve around their local working men's club, village life really suffers when these places close.
posted by freya_lamb at 5:49 AM on July 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


I thought that the modern mini was owned by BMW? I just assumed that they were made in germany.
posted by octothorpe at 6:07 AM on July 10, 2010


I thought that the modern mini was owned by BMW? I just assumed that they were made in germany.

They are still made in England. I just checked because they used to be made near where I now live (Birmingham) but the plant has long since been closed down as has most other end product manufacturing in the area.

The export economics of a country are a bit complicated now that there is so much specialization and trans national product development going on - mini cooper being an example - owned by BMW designed by German and English engineers, assembled in the UK with parts from all over the place.

When I think of English manufacturing the only end product that springs to mind is Dyson and I remember reading they were going to offshore some production. Even HP sauce isn't made in England anymore.

There must be some weird specialist parts manufacturing that England does that drives its exports. That and its massive war industries via BAE.
posted by srboisvert at 6:39 AM on July 10, 2010


Or does it really feel like it is a worse place to live despite the actual numbers?

It's down to stuff that these numbers just don't show, really. Living in an inner-city, prior to 2003 or so I would have been quite happy to go out after 10pm on a Saturday to pop to a corner store or something similar. Nowadays I wouldn't even think of it, as I've been happy-slapped once too many times and every street tends to be full of drunken morons kicking bins at some point or another. This is while living maybe 2 minutes walk from the primary police station for that city, mind.

That's a bit petty and personal, I guess, so on a wider scope: Watching the news stories go past about assaults on ambulancemen where they have no recourse - not even touching the assailant, or about public service getting choked by inefficiency and never-ending meaningless admin targets (ORCON), about constant and never-ending fuck-ups by government with personal data and a lack of responsibility or punishment, about the previous Labour Government getting told by the European Human Rights Committee to stop doing things and watching them shrug and go 'the EU is wrong, taxpayers can pay any fines they levy on us, it's cool'. There's a great many things at the ground level which have really sapped my desire to be in this country.
posted by stelas at 7:02 AM on July 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Drexen: You can thank the constant sky-is-falling broken-britain immigrants-are-giving-our-kids-cancer yelping of the tabloids for that
posted by MuffinMan at 7:16 AM on July 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


When I think of English manufacturing the only end product that springs to mind is Dyson

A lot of performance automotive parts and cars are built in the UK - specifically in a ring from Newbury round to Milton Keynes. A few years back, 90% of all race cars were built in the UK.

Land Rovers, Aston Martins, Jaguars, Bentleys and Rolls Royces are all built in the UK - over and above the Toyotas, Hondas and Peugeots built here.

And don't forget Scotch whisky - if one thinks of it as "manufactured" and various other spirits. A massive export industry.
posted by MuffinMan at 7:35 AM on July 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Seems like most of these charts are made by graphic designers as opposed to statisticians..." - dagny

A good graphic designer would make a great infographic from a bunch of statistics collected by a good statistician.

A good statistician couldn't make a great infographic from a bunch of statistics collected by a good graphic designer.
posted by vectr at 7:52 AM on July 10, 2010


This is really interesting to me because I left the UK in 1998 and moved to the US.

Every time I go back "home" to visit I feel more and more like I'm a stranger in a strange land. I wonder how much of this is in my head and how much of this is due to the rapid change the world is seeing these days.
posted by schwa at 8:06 AM on July 10, 2010


Yeah, I left the UK in 2000 and I feel like schwa, it feels strange to go back. Again, I'm not sure how much of this is actual change. Still, this was very interesting.
posted by ob at 9:07 AM on July 10, 2010


Would someone check my math?

If non-british immigration is a net 3.1m gain, then that accounts for the entirety of the population gain from 1997 to 2008 (61.4m from 58.3m = 3.1m).

But comparing the birth and death rates seems to indicate that the UK should be gaining about 100,000 people a year aside from all that.

Does that mean that British immigration is a net loss of about a million?
posted by Several Unnamed Sources at 9:22 AM on July 10, 2010


MetaFilter: Richer, fatter, living longer, more indebted, drunker, better connected, politically disillusioned.


Fitter, happier, more productive,
comfortable,
not drinking too much,
regular exercise at the gym
(3 days a week),
getting on better with your associate employee contemporaries,
at ease,
eating well
(no more microwave dinners and saturated fats),
a patient better driver,
a safer car
(baby smiling in back seat),
sleeping well
(no bad dreams),
no paranoia,
careful to all animals
(never washing spiders down the plughole),
keep in contact with old friends
(enjoy a drink now and then)
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:00 AM on July 10, 2010


Is it just me, or do these "infographics" usually make it more difficult to get a good grip of the numbers?

It's not just you, at least not for all of them. The graphic with the Union Jack breaking up took me some time and thought to parse.
posted by immlass at 10:03 AM on July 10, 2010


What's the British equivalent of "they're taking our jerbs"?
posted by nestor_makhno at 10:19 AM on July 10, 2010


Still no Tour champ though. Maybe next year.
posted by jeffmac at 10:51 AM on July 10, 2010


"What's the British equivalent of "they're taking our jerbs"?"

Those fucking Polish, they'll work for one pound an hour! /actually overheard once
posted by saturnine at 12:34 PM on July 10, 2010


Most of these changes affected the entire Western world, and are not UK-specific in any way that matters.

This touches a bit of a nerve because politicians in my own US state are constantly comparing the state's status today versus 10 years ago, or the urban vs suburban parts of the state, while ignoring the comparison that matters: how the state is doing compared to other similar-sized states.
posted by miyabo at 2:58 PM on July 10, 2010


What's the British equivalent of "they're taking our jerbs"?

"All these Eastern Europeans, where are they coming from?"
posted by Sys Rq at 3:49 PM on July 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


The very first infographic is stupid. So is the second, etc. The idea of an infographic is that it presents the information in an easily and accurately comprehended manner, not that it look all cutesy like some designer got ahold of the page before it went to press.

The first infographic uses a two-dimensional figure, a set of nested squares, to represent a one-dimensional piece of information, a set of numbers. Stupid. The ring with a segment cut out? Stupid. The pointed lines? Stupid.

The presentation is too irritatingly stupid for me to even bother figuring out what the numbers mean.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 8:32 PM on July 10, 2010


This touches a bit of a nerve because politicians in my own US state are constantly comparing the state's status today versus 10 years ago, or the urban vs suburban parts of the state, while ignoring the comparison that matters: how the state is doing compared to other similar-sized states.

How things were 10, or 20, or 30 years ago is a perfectly valid comparison, unless you think we should meekly accede to the idea that thinks should be worse for our children than our parents.
posted by rodgerd at 1:19 AM on July 11, 2010


What dumbshit designer decided that it was a good idea to compare lower and higher percentages with smaller and larger circles?
posted by chimaera at 4:00 PM on July 11, 2010


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