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Living standards

The Living Standards theme focuses most heavily on poverty, demonstrating how hard it is for Londoners to translate their earnings, benefits and assets into wellbeing. It also looks at wider indicators of living standards, including life expectancy and health.

This page brings together a series of maps using data from our London borough comparison tile.

Boroughs have been labelled higher, lower, or mid (average) according to threshold values of one standard deviation above or below the mean of all the borough values.

Change in hourly gross earnings by income decile (2017-2019)

In both London and the rest of England, growth in hourly earnings between 2017 and 2019 was fastest for the bottom 10% of jobs; increasing by 4.6% in the capital and 5% in the rest of England. This rise was likely driven by the increase in the minimum and living wages. The National Living Wage (paid to workers over 25) increased from £7.50 an hour in 2017/18 to £8.21 an hour in 2019. 

In London, weekly and annual earnings rose fastest for the highest 10% of jobs. This is particularly true for annual pay (which includes bonuses) which rose by 4% in the two years to 2019 for the top 10%, compared to 1.1% for the bottom 10% and only 0.1% for the 4th decile.

The figures presented here are adjusted for inflation, meaning that for all deciles in both London and the rest of England, earnings increased at least as fast as the cost of living. This …

Proportion of children in poverty before and after housing costs by London borough (2021/22)

Children in poverty by London borough, before and after housing costs

E-food Desert Index (2020)

The E-food Desert Index (EFDI) is a composite index which measures accessibility to groceries, recently co-published by the Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC) in conjunction with Dr Andy Newing at the University of Leeds. The index looks at:

  • Proximity and density of grocery retail stores
  • Transport time and distance
  • Public transport accessibility
  • Demographic characteristics of neighbourhoods which affect food access (car availability, income poverty)
  • Online grocery retailer availability and propensity for online shopping.

The index and map identify a new driver of inequalities in access to groceries - 'e-food deserts' - which are remoter parts of the capital that suffer comparatively poor access to both physical retail and limited provision of online grocery services.

The map shown here is excerpted for London, based on the wider index for Eng…

English Index of Multiple Deprivation (rebased for London) (2019)

Deprivation varies significantly across London, and, to truly understand the diversity of deprivation across the city, it is useful to adapt national indices to compare within just London itself, excluding variations outside the capital. Mapped here are the deciles of neighbourhoods in London as defined by the Index of Multiple Deprivation, which integrates deprivation domains relating to income, employment, crime, living environment, education, health and barriers to housing and services, in various proportions, to produce an overall index.

Every neighbourhood in England has been given a deprivation score based on various measures which form each domain above, integrated together in various proportions to produce a single value. They are then ranked for England. We have taken these rankings and rebased, by excluding all non-London areas …

Gentrification Index for Small Areas in London (2010-16)

Key findings

  • Clear inner vs outer London divide with lower levels throughout most of the outer boroughs, particularly Havering, Bexley and Bromley (with the exception of Kingston upon Thames)
  • Highest levels of gentrification seen along riverside developments in the Lea Valley and the Thames Estuary
  • Clear north/south split in Waltham Forest and east/west split in Haringey

The Runnymede Trust and CLASS recently published a report funded by us - Pushed to the Margins: A Quantitative Analysis of Gentrification in London in the 2010s. The report presents a small area analysis of social/population changes related to the phenomenon of 'gentrification' that has impacted various areas in London, some very significantly, in the last decade.

Simply put, gentrification is where an area rapidly changes its population, caused by an influx of wealthier hous…

London households affected by the benefit cap (2014 - 2023 Q4)

What does this indicator show?

The benefit cap limits the amount of money  that most working-age people can receive from benefits. In Greater London the limit is £25,323 per year or £16,697 for single adults with no children. This was reduced in November 2016, and recently increased in April 2023. The benefit cap is applied by either reducing Universal Credit or Housing Benefit (for those not claiming Universal Credit).

What does it tell us?

More than 25,000 households in London had their income reduced by the benefit cap in November 2023. This has increased by more than 35% since before the pandemic (November 2019). However, the number of households affected by the benefit cap has been steeply reducing since a peak of 33,000 households during the pandemic.

The data refers to the month of November for each year spanning 2014 to 2023 and incl…

London boroughs' median income deprivation ranking relative to London and rest of England (2019)

The typical neighbourhood in 24 (of 32) London boroughs is more income-deprived than the typical neighbourhood in England.

This indicator assesses this by comparing the average (median) income deprivation in each borough to the average income deprivation of London overall and the rest of England through a relative deprivation ratio. Boroughs close to the red line have similar average income deprivation levels to the comparison. If they are to the left of the line, they are less income-deprived and if they are to the right of the line they are more income-deprived. 

Tower Hamlets is on average the most income-deprived in comparison to the other London boroughs. The average neighbourhood in the borough is 2.03 times more income-deprived than the average in London, and 2.67 times more income-deprived than the average in the rest of England. O…

Proportion of total net and gross income before housing costs held in each decile (2021/22)

Those in the bottom five deciles of the net income distribution in London together take home less than a quarter (23.9%) of London’s total net income before housing costs. Those in the top decile of London households alone take home 32.2% of total net income.

The impact of redistribution through the tax and benefit system can also be seen in this chart. The top decile holds a lower proportion of total net income (32.2%) i.e. after tax, than it does of gross income (37%) i.e. before tax. In contrast, the bottom decile of London households holds 1.5% of total gross income but 1.9% of total net income. This reflects the higher tax rates paid on incomes in the for the 9th and 10th deciles, and at the other end the effect of the personal tax allowance threshold which means the income earned up to a given point is not taxed at all.

Compared to L…

Net income inequality before housing costs (1996/97 - 2021/22)

This indicator shows one way of measuring income inequality, the 90:10 net income ratio. This compares the net income (before housing costs) of those at the 90th net income percentile with those at the 10th net income percentile. A higher figure means that inequality is higher.

In 2021/22 those in the 90th net income percentile in London took home 10 times more than those in the 10th net income percentile (a 90:10 net income ratio of 10.5). In the rest of England the 90:10 net income ratio is 5.2.

Net income inequality has risen gradually in London over the last 20 years, with a small drop in the most recent year (2021/22). In contrast, it has been relatively stable in England overall.

This means that the gap between the rich and poor in London and the rest of England is much larger today than it was two decades ago. In 1996/97, the gap bet…

Material deprivation of children in London (2022/23)

Last updated: May 2024
Next estimated update: May 2025

What does this indicator show?

This indicator shows the proportion of children in London experiencing some kind of material deprivation. This means the material things -  such as a warm winter coat or a safe outdoors space to play - that children go without.

What does it tell us?

In 2022/23, almost a third (32%) of children living in households in poverty in London are classed as materially deprived (down from 45% in 2018/19). This, compares with 39% in the rest of England (up from 37% in 2018/19). For children who do not live in households in poverty, the proportion of materially deprived children is 13% in London and 12% in the rest of England. 

Almost half (48%) of children in London in poverty went without a holiday away from home for at least one week a year with their family, the hig…

80:20 hourly wage ratio by London borough (2013, 2019 and 2023)

There are many ways of measuring pay inequality. This indicator considers the 80:20 hourly wage ratio, which shows how much greater hourly pay is for those at the 80th percentile of the hourly pay distribution than for those at the 20th percentile. The larger the ratio, the more unequal hourly pay.

Based on this measure, pay inequality is significantly higher in London than in England. In London, the 20% highest paid earn at least 2.5x more per hour than the 20% lowest paid. In England, the figure is 1.72.

Since before the pandemic, wage inequality has decreased in every borough where data are available, except Wandsworth. Every borough has a higher level of pay inequality than the England average.

Indexed gross weekly pay in London and England (2002-2023)

This indicator shows how weekly pay for Londoners in employment (before tax, adjusted for inflation) has changed over time, using 2008 as a baseline. 

On average, Londoners are paid nearly 10% less per week (as of 2023) than they were in 2008. This means Londoners’ average weekly pay is now lower than at any point since 2015. 

This indicator also shows how weekly pay has changed over time for Londoners on lower and higher incomes. Londoners at the 10th percentile of weekly pay (those with incomes below 90% of other Londoners) are paid 7% less than they were in 2008. Londoners at the 90th percentile (those with incomes above 90% of Londoners) are paid 13% less.

This is significantly different to the rest of England. On average, workers in the rest of England are paid 2.8% less than in 2008. Lower income earners at the 10th percentile are pai…

Poverty rates in London (by small area) (2014)

This map shows poverty rate estimates after housing costs for areas known as middle-layer super output areas (MSOAs). These are relatively small areas with an average population of 7,200. These statistics are experimental and so should be considered as indicative rather than definitive, but reveal interesting trends. 

Overall the map shows the large disparity of poverty outcomes both across and within London boroughs. The most concentrated areas of high poverty are in areas such as Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Newham, and the north east of London. There are also noticeable pockets of high poverty rates in areas in west London, such as in Brent and the north ends of Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster.

Only six MSOAs have a poverty rate below 10% in London, all in Outer London boroughs, whilst nine MSOAs have a poverty rate above 45%. Refle…

Proportion of Londoners in poverty in families with and without disabled persons (2012/13, 2017/18, and 2022/23)

Last updated: May 2024
Next estimated update: May 2025

What does this indicator show?

This indicator shows the proportion of people living in poverty in London, split by whether they live in a family including a Disabled person or not. We can also see how this has changed over the last decade.

What does it tell us?

Londoners who live in families that include a Disabled person are more likely to be in poverty than those living in families that do not include a Disabled person. In the 3 years to 2022/23, 30% of families that included a Disabled person were in poverty compared to 22% of those without a Disabled household member. 

This gap has increased in the last 10 years - from 5 to 8 percentage points .

Want to know more?

If you want to explore this data in more depth, check the 'data source and notes' button on the above charts. This …

Proportion of households in poverty by ethnicity (2022/23)

Last updated: May 2024
Next estimated update: May 2025

What does this indicator show?

This indicator shows the proportion of people living in poverty in London and the rest of England (after housing costs) split by ethnicity.

What does it tell us?

Poverty rates are highest among the Bangladeshi minority ethnic group with 63% being counted as in-poverty. This is followed by the “any other Asian background” group for whom the poverty rate is 41%.

Poverty rates for minority ethnic groups follow the same order in both London and the rest of Engand. The groups least likely to be in-poverty in London are “Mixed/Multiple Ethnic” (24%) and “White” (17%). 

Want to know more?

If you want to explore this data in more depth, check the 'data source and notes' button on the above charts. This will tell you where the data comes from, where you may be…

Proportion of households in poverty by family type (2022/23)

Last updated: May 2024
Next estimated update: May 2025

What does this indicator show?

This indicator shows the proportion of people in poverty in London (after housing costs) by family structure. A person is classed as being in poverty if they earn below 60% of the median income. You can find out more about how poverty is measured here.

What does it tell us?

Families made up of a single adult with children are the most likely to be in poverty. In London 47% of these family types are counted as being in poverty, with 44% in the rest of England. Other single person household types follow next, with couple households showing lower poverty rates. Couples pensioners and couples without children are the least likely to be in poverty - 13% and 14%, respectively, of this family type were in poverty in London for 2022/23.

The family structure of London…

Poverty for children, pensioners and working-age adults (2012/2013 and 2022/2023)

Last updated: May 2024
Next estimated update: May 2025

What does this indicator show?

This indicator shows the percentage of people in London living in poverty (after housing costs), split by life stages. For a more comprehensive breakdown of poverty in different age groups, visit this indicator.

What does it tell us?

Of the three age groups shown here, children have the highest poverty rates, with 32% of children in London in poverty in 2022/23, compared to 22% of working-age adults and 19% of pensioners. 

How has this changed over time?

In the last 10 years, the proportion of children in poverty in London has decreased by 5 percentage points - from 37% to 32%. The poverty rate among working-age adults has also decreased (from 27% to 22%), while for pensioners it has stayed the same (19%).

How does London compare to the rest of England?

Children…

Proportions of people in poverty before and after housing costs (2022/23)

What does this indicator show?

Poverty can be measured both with and without housing costs taken into account. Housing costs can include rent or mortgage payments, building insurance and water rates.

This indicator shows the percentage of people in poverty in London and the rest of England - after and before housing costs are taken into account. By looking at poverty rates before and after housing costs, we can see how much of an impact housing costs have on pushing people into poverty.

What does it tell us?

In London, poverty rates increase significantly when housing costs are accounted for, increasing the poverty rate from 14% to 24%. In the rest of England, the difference is much smaller, increasing the percentage of people in poverty from 17% to 21%. This shows that, compared to the rest of England, high housing costs are a much more sig…

Proportion of Londoners in poverty after housing costs by age band (2022/23)

Last updated: May 2024
Next estimated update: May 2025

What does this indicator show?

This indicator shows the poverty rate in London by age group. A person is classed as being in poverty if they earn below 60% of the median income. You can find out more about how poverty is measured here.

What does it tell us?

Poverty rates after housing costs were highest among children and young people in 2022/23, in both London and the rest of England.

  • In London 140,000 children aged four and under live in households in poverty
  • A third (33%) of children aged 5-9 are in households in poverty
  • Over a third of 10-19 year olds live in households that are in poverty (35% of those aged 10-14 and 37% of those aged 15-19). 

In contrast, 15% of Londoners aged 30-34 live in households that are in poverty - the lowest rate for any age group. 

Poverty rates in London are h…

Households are considered to be below the UK poverty line if their income is below 60% of the median household income after housing costs for that year.

Proportion of people in poverty over time after housing costs (1996/97 - 2022/23)

Last updated: May 2024
Next estimated update: May 2025

What does this indicator show?

This indicator shows the poverty rate in London (after housing costs) over the years. We can also see how this compares to the poverty rate in the rest of England.

What does it tell us?

A quarter (24%) of Londoners live in households that are in poverty (after housing costs - AHC), meaning that 2.2 million Londoners lived in poverty in 2022/23. The poverty rate (AHC) in London is 3 percentage points higher than in the rest of England. This is the lowest the poverty rate (AHC) for London has been since the current measure began in 1996/97.

The proportion of households in poverty after housing costs (AHC) was relatively stable between 1996/97 and 2019/20:

  • In London, poverty rates varied between 27% and 30%; and
  • in the rest of England, poverty rates varied between…

Poverty rates by demographic characteristics in London (2022/23)

Last updated: May 2024
Next estimated update: May 2025

What does this indicator show?

This indicator shows the poverty rate in London (after housing costs) by demographics. A person is classed as being in poverty if they earn below 60% of the median income. You can find out more about how poverty is measured here.

For further breakdowns by demographics, explore poverty by ethnicity, poverty by age, poverty by family type and disability and poverty.

What does it tell us?

Poverty rates vary significantly across different demographic groups in London. The highest poverty rates are experienced by workless families (50%) and households comprised of single people with children (47%). Black and minority ethnic groups are far more likely to be in poverty (34%) than white people (17%), and single pensioners also see a higher than average poverty rate a…

Poverty rates by London borough (2021/22)

The poverty rates for London boroughs presented here pool together five years of survey data for all financial years between 2016/17 and 2021/22, excluding 2020/21 as data quality in this year was severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The use of multiple years of data means that the full impacts of the pandemic will not be seen in these results.

Even when pulling together six survey years, the sample sizes for individual boroughs remain uneven and, for some boroughs, small. This means that although we present our best estimates of poverty for each borough, there is some uncertainty around the precise estimates. For the technical- minded, the downloadable data includes the 95% confidence intervals, which demonstrate the scale of uncertainty for each borough.

Even with this degree of uncertainty, we can still say plenty about the varia…

Poverty rates by region (2022/23)

Last updated: May 2024
Next estimated update: May 2025

What does this indicator show?

This indicator shows the proportion of people living in poverty in each of England’s regions - before and after housing costs.

What does it tell us?

After housing costs are taken into consideration, the poverty rate in London is 24%, the third highest of the English regions following the West Midlands (27%) and the North West (25%) of England.

The proportion of people living in poverty in London almost doubles when housing costs are taken into account (rising from 14% before housing costs to 24% after housing costs). This gap between before and after housing costs measures of poverty is much larger in the capital than any in other English region.

Want to know more?

If you want to explore this data in more depth, check the 'data source and notes' butto…

Housing costs as proportion of net income for households in poverty (2022/23)

Last updated: May 2024
Next estimated update: May 2025

What does this indicator show?

This indicator shows how much of a household’s income is spent on housing costs - split by households in poverty and not in poverty. 

What does it tell us?

Households living in poverty are spending a significantly larger proportion of their net income on housing costs than households not living in poverty. This is true both in London and in the rest of England. 

London households in poverty are estimated, on average, to spend 54% of their total net income on housing costs. In comparison, those living in households which are not in poverty spend just 11% on average. 

The trend is similar in the rest of England with households in poverty spending 32% of their income on housing compared to 8% for those not in poverty, but the gap is much smaller than in the capit…

Deprivation Rank Changes for London Leavers: Recent (2019)

What we learn from this data:

  • Two decades ago, for the vast majority of Londoners a move out of the capital meant a better quality of life economically.
  • Today the two-tier nature of London means the picture is far more nuanced. The residents of the poorest boroughs no longer see such stark decreases in deprivation when they move outwards, and those in the outer London boroughs may actually worsen their quality of lives by leaving the city.

The dataset

New analysis of a dataset on 'Residential Mobility and Deprivation' produced by the Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC) reveals what happens to people’s quality of life as measured by levels of neighbourhood deprivation when moving out of Greater London.

The analysis of people moving out of London in 1999 shows a striking pattern - an almost universal decrease in deprivation (with a correspondi…

Proportion of total wealth held in each decile (2018-20)

Wealth is very unequally distributed. In London, those in the top wealth decile (i.e. the 10% of people with the highest wealth) hold 44.3% of London’s total net wealth. Those in the bottom decile (the bottom 10%) hold none of London’s total net wealth.

In the rest of England a similar divide is found, where the top decile holds 42.8% of total net wealth and the bottom holds just 0.1% of total net wealth which is barely visible on the chart.

Total net wealth is an estimate of the value of wealth held by all private households, including net property, net financial, private pension and physical wealth.

London poverty rates before and after housing costs (1996/97 - 2022/23)

Last updated: May 2024
Next estimated update: May 2025

What does this indicator show?

Poverty can be measured both with and without housing costs taken into account. Housing costs can include rent or mortgage payments, building insurance and water rates.

This indicator shows the percentage of people in poverty in London and the rest of England over the years - after and before housing costs are taken into account. By looking at poverty rates before and after housing costs, we can see how much of an impact housing costs have on pushing people into poverty.

What does it tell us?

The proportion of people living in poverty in London increases significantly when housing costs are taken into account rising from 14% to 24%. 

This gap between before and after housing costs measures of poverty is much larger in the capital than in the rest of the countr…

Proportion of population within the bottom and top 10% of the income distribution after housing costs by region (2021/22)

This indicator shows the population proportion in each region in England that is in the bottom and top deciles of the overall income distribution after housing costs in 2021/22.

It shows that, in comparison with all other regions in England, London and the West Midlands have the largest proportion of people in the bottom decile (13%). The East of England has the lowest proportion, with just 7% in the bottom income decile.

17% of Londoners are in the top decile of income distribution, the highest of any region in England. The regions surrounding London, the South East and East of England, have the next highest proportion of residents in the top income decile and 15% and 12% respectively.