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vital statistics

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ln the UK, 22 per cent of the male working population works more than 48 hours each week, compared with the European Union average of 11 per cent, the DTI has reported.

Almost 50 per cent of householders with homes at risk from flooding completely ignore the hazard, the government's Environment Agency has revealed.While 95 per cent of those facing the danger admit it is a serious issue, only 45 per cent believe that it relates to them and five per cent do anything about it.

This year 2,600 properties in Britain are likely to be sold for more than £1 million, research for the Halifax has found. This figure is double that of 1999, when the number stood at 1,305.

Nearly 76 per cent of the UK's top 100 architectural practices have seen their financial performance slip In the past three years, according to analyst Plimsoll Publishing.

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