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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

Black and ethnic minority (BME) Londoners are significantly more likely to be in poverty than white Londoners. 34% of BME Londoners were in poverty in 2022/23 - double the proportion of white Londoners (17%).

The chart below dives into poverty rates across more specific ethnic groups. Bangladeshi Londoners are by far the most likely group to be in poverty. 63% of this group were in poverty in 2022/23 - a massive 20 percentage points higher than any other group shown here, and more than 40 percentage points higher than white Londoners. White Londoners are the least likely to be in poverty, with a poverty rate of 17%.

Poverty rates by ethnicity in London (2022/23)

Different 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 2022/23.

Also hit hard are single pensioner households, with almost a third (29%) in poverty. Couples with children (14%) and couple pensioners (13%) are the least likely to be in poverty.

Poverty rates by household type in London (2022/23)

Employment status

Households with nobody in employment are most likely to be in poverty – half (50%) of these households in London were in poverty in 2022/23.

But in-work poverty is also a major issue in London. Almost 1 in 8 households (12%) in which all adults were employed also experienced poverty - and around a third (32%) of households where at least one adult is employed were in poverty in 2022/23.

Poverty rates by employment status in London (2022/23)

Poverty rates by sex

Women are slightly more likely to be in poverty than men. Just over one in four women were in poverty in London in 2022/23 (26%) compared to 23% of men.

Poverty rates by sex in London (2022/23)

Poverty rates by age

Children are more affected by poverty than any other age group. 32% of children in London were in poverty in 2022/23. For those age 15-19, the figure is 37%.

Londoners aged 30-34 are the least likely to be in poverty (15%).

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

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.

Explore this data and more on London's Poverty Profile