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vital statistics

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The number of homes sold in the second quarter of 2001 was 270,579, compared with 175,244 in the first three months of the year, according to information group Experian. The Nationwide Building Society said annual house price inflation hit 10.9 per cent in July.

There were 3,789 company insolvencies in England and Wales in the second quarter of this year, according to the DTI, an increase of 2.6 per cent on the previous quarter and a rise of 9.3 per cent on the same period in 2000.

The UK population is now estimated to be 59,755,700, a rise of 3.4 per cent since mid 1991. The number of people aged 16-29 has decreased by 13.9 per cent to 10.6 million, while the number of over 85s has risen by 29.5 per cent.

The advertising and design industries employ 40,000 people in London, generating at least £1.7 billion in overseas income. Almost 11,000 London-based firms operate in media industries.

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