The population of Scotland is expected to rise to 5.69m by 2041. Source: National Records of Scotland. Angela Merkel has maintained her place as the world's most powerful woman in an annual survey. Source: Forbes magazine. The number of people seeking refuge in Germany has more than doubled in the last two years to 1.6m, with most fleeing from Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq. Source: Federal Statistics Office. More than £3.8m of Red Cross aid money intended for Ebola victims in West Africa has been lost to fraud and corruption. Source: Red Cross. After having children, over half of UK parents feel 'lonely or cut off' from friends and family. Source: Action for Children. The most popular 'secrets' for a happy marriage are 'showing each other respect' and 'maintaining a shared sense of humour,' with a good sex life and monogamy comparatively far down the list. Source: London Mint Office. One in five British mobile phone users have either walked into someone or tripped while using their device. Source: Casumo.com. There may be no such condition as 'internet gaming addiction.' Instead of being addicted to gaming itself, those involved are thought to be unhappy about other areas of their lives. Source: Cardiff University. Sexting cases involving children in England and Wales have more than doubled in two years to a rate of 17 new cases every day. Source: Police forces, England and Wales. One in eight London bus drivers were spat at in the last year. Source: Unite.
Non-food sales rose by only 0.1% in the three months to October – their poorest performance in six years. Clothing sales were particularly poor. Source: KPMG. The UK living wage has risen to £8.75 per hour. Source: Living Wage Foundation. Sales of diesel cars in the UK fell by almost a third last month compared with 2016. Source: Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 75% of workers aged 18 to 24 would quit their jobs if it went against their principles, but less than half of over 55s would do the same. Source: Glassdoor.
Cosmic rays have been used to find a hidden chamber in the Great Pyramid in Egypt. When cosmic rays collide with our atmosphere they create high-energy particles called muons which can penetrate deep into rock without disturbing a stone. Source: Nagoya University, Japan. Data from the Kepler space telescope has found 20 promising worlds that might be able to host life including an exoplanet called KOI-7923.01 which is 97% the size of Earth and a bit cooler. Source: Kepler.
More than 300,000 children have been born through IVF in the last quarter of the century in the UK. Source: Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. 190,406 abortions were carried out in England and Wales last year. Source: Advisory Group on Contraception. The number of nurses and midwives leaving the profession has risen by 9% in the past year. Source: Nursing and Midwifery Council. Breathing pure oxygen could repair brain damage years after concussion. Source: Tel Aviv University. People who suffer chronic fatigue syndrome have blood cells which are drained of energy. The disease may be physiological and not psychological as originally thought. Source: Newcastle University. The number of people being treated in Scottish hospitals for eating disorders has risen from 436 to 726 in the last 10 years. Source: Scottish Conservatives. Anorexia is the most deadly mental illness in the UK and affects one in every 250 women at some point in their lives. Source: BBC. Depression is on the rise for all age groups in the US. 12.7% of people aged between 17 and 19 have reported feeling depressed. Source: Columbia University. Vegetarians are more likely to suffer from depression because of 'nutritional deficiencies.' Source: Journal of Affective Disorders. Smoking among 15-year-olds in England is at its lowest level – 7% – since records began. Source: NHS Digital.
54% of Brits are planning a holiday abroad in the next 12 months, despite falling confidence in the economy. Source: Holiday Confidence Index.
Shrews shrink their brains and skulls in the winter to survive harsh conditions and then regrow them both in the spring. Source: Max Planck Institute for Ornithology. A device called a Vocktail – short for virtual cocktail – uses lighting, smelly gases and electronics to manipulate the user into thinking that water tastes like wine and other alcoholic beverages. Source: University of Singapore. Songbirds master new tunes by 'cutting and pasting' musical syllables they already know, adding syllables that they learn. Source: Nature Connections.