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Thursday, September 30, 1999 Published at 05:43 GMT 06:43 UK


Survey emphasises north-south divide

London wages are higher, but so are house prices

New figures have underlined the continuing existence of a north-south divide in Britain.

They show wide variations in income, spending and house prices, with average weekly household income still highest in London and the South East and lowest in the North East.

The Office for National Statistics Regional Trends survey shows that an average house in London cost £128,000 in 1998, more than double the price of equivalent homes in the North East, Wales and Yorkshire.

Men in full-time employment in London earned an average £556 a week in April 1998, compared to just £272 earned each week by women in the East Midlands.

Private sector rents were lowest in the East Midlands, however, at £59 per week in 1997-1998, and highest in London at £133.

And people in the capital were least likely to be satisfied with their accommodation and the area in which they lived.

Population rise in Scotland

Each London household spent an average of £354.20 per week in 1998-98 compared with £266.20 in the North East.

Donations to charities in 1995-1998 were nearly £2 a week per household in London. People in Northern Ireland were the most generous, giving £3.40, while those in the North East gave 60p.

The report also found that a quarter of people living in London belong to an ethnic minority group, compared with about one in 16 people in the country as a whole.

The survey also revealed a slight increase in the population of Scotland between 1991 and 1997.

And showing that the report covered a vast range of subjects, it also emerged that nearly a quarter of smokers in the North East have their first cigarette less than five minutes after waking up.

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