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Who is in poverty in London?

Petty Coat Lane
Petty Coat Lane

The latest data shows that after housing costs, one in four Londoners are in poverty. But poverty doesn’t affect everyone equally. Here we look at how different groups are impacted.

Poverty rates by ethnicity

Poverty rates by ethnicity

Black Londoners are more than twice as likely to be in poverty than white Londoners. The poverty rate for Black Londoners is 38%. That’s a massive 20 percentage points higher than white Londoners, who have a poverty rate of 18%.

Asian Londoners also have a significantly higher poverty rate than White Londoners, at 33%.

Different household types

Poverty rate by household types

Poverty affects some households more than others.

Single parent households are the most likely to experience poverty - almost half (47%) were in poverty in 2021/22.

Also hit hard are single pensioner households, with almost a third (30%) in poverty. This group was also the only one to see an increase in poverty from 2019/20 to 2021/22.

Employment status

poverty-rates-by-ethnici (1)

Households with nobody in employment are most likely to be in poverty – more than half (52%) were in poverty in 2021/22.

But in-work poverty is also a major issue in London. Almost 1 in 8 households (13%) in which all adults were employed also experienced poverty.

Poverty rates by sex


Women are slightly more likely to be in poverty than men. Just over one in four women are in poverty in London (26%) compared to 23% of men.

Child poverty

Proportion of Londoners in poverty after housing costs by age band (2021/22)

Children are more affected by poverty than any other age group. 32% of children in London were in poverty in 2021/22. For children aged 10-14, the figure is 38%.

A third of children in poverty suffered some form of material deprivation.

Material deprivation of children in London (2021/22)

This data looks at poverty across different demographics. But when looking at figures like these, it's important to remember that people don't fit into just one demographic - and their characteristics interact in different ways. So, a Black single parent's experience of poverty will be different to a Black pensioner couple without children, and so on.

Measuring poverty

It’s important to note that the income below which a household is defined as being in poverty is much lower than what research has shown is needed for a decent standard of living.  Read more about the different ways of measuring poverty here.