Children

Use the interactive tool below to navigate indicators that show how poverty and inequality affects children in London.

Children: Indicators

Child dependency ratio by area over time (2000 - 2030)

The child dependency ratio in the rest of England is higher compared to Inner London, but lower compared to Outer London.  

In 2019, there were 33.7 children for every 100 working-age adults within Outer London. This figure is both higher than the child dependency ratio in Inner London (26.3 children per 100 working-age adults) and the rest of England (30.9 children per 100 working-age adults).

The child dependency ratio is an indication of how many under 16s working-age people need to support. Since 2000, the child dependency ratio has fallen in Inner London and the rest of England but risen in Outer London. Across London and England, the child dependency ratio is projected to peak to have peaked in 2019 before gradually declining.

Childhood obesity for children in Year 6 by London borough (2009/10 and 2019/20)

Childhood obesity is more prevalent in London than England overall. In 2019/20, some 23.2% of children in Year 6 were considered obese in London, compared to 20.2% in England.

Over the last decade, the prevalence of childhood obesity has risen by 1.9 percentage points in both London and England overall. The majority of boroughs had a higher prevalence of childhood obesity than England overall in both 2009/10 and 2019/20.

Public Health England’s latest figures in 2019/20 show that Barking and Dagenham has the highest proportion of childhood obesity out of all London boroughs at 2%. The borough also had the largest rise in childhood obesity since 2009/10 (a 5.7 percentage point increase). At the other end of the scale, 11.1% of Year 6 children in Richmond upon Thames are obese in 2019/20 with just a 0.1 percentage point increase compared to …

Number of children in poverty by housing tenure in London (2004/05 - 2019/20)

Since 2005/06, the number of children in poverty in London who live in private rented accommodation has increased almost threefold to its current level of 301,000 in 2019/20. The proportion of children in poverty in London who live in the private rented sector has increased from 17% in 2005/06 to 39% in 2019/20.

While the number of children in poverty in this group has increased, the poverty rate within this group has slightly decreased over the years; in 2005/06 the poverty rate for children in private rented accommodation in London was 56% and in 2019/20 it was 50%.

The number of London children in poverty living in the social rented sector fell sharply between 2005/06 and 2011/12 (falling by more than 100,000). However, numbers have risen again since then and the poverty rate amongst this group is still the highest amongst all the tenur…

Proportion of children in poverty before and after housing costs by London borough (2018/19)

This indicator shows the large disparity in poverty rates for children in different London boroughs. Tower Hamlets is the borough with the highest rate of child poverty (after housing costs), with a rate (55%) which is more than three times as high as that of the boroughs of Richmond and City of London with the lowest rates (17%).

It also demonstrates the large impact that the cost of housing has on poverty in the capital. In the borough with the highest poverty levels (Tower Hamlets), 27% of children are classified as being in poverty before housing costs are considered. Taking account of housing costs increases this figure to 55%. 

In all but two boroughs, the child poverty rate at least doubles when housing costs are accounted for (and even these two Barking and Dagenham and Newham the `After Housing Costs` rate is 1.9 times the `Before…

GCSE attainment - grades 9-4 in English and Maths by London borough (2019)

State-educated students in London have higher GCSE attainment rates than those in England as a whole, with 68.7% of students achieving grades 9-4 (A*- C under the old grading system) in GCSE English and Maths in 2019 compared to 64.9% in all of England. 

Over two thirds of the London boroughs have a higher GCSE attainment rate than the average rate of England. The boroughs with the highest GCSE attainment rates are Sutton, Barnet, and Kingston upon Thames, which saw between 78.4% and 79.7% of their students achieving grades 9-4 in English and Maths in 2019.

GCSE attainment by ethnicity (2019)

In general, GCSE attainment is higher in London than in the rest of England. This is true for both boys and girls, students who do not speak English as a first language, students with Special Educational Needs and students from minority ethnic backgrounds. 

In both London and the rest of England, girls perform better at GCSE than boys, with 72% of girls achieving grades 9-4 (the equivalent of A*-C under the old system) in English and Maths in London, but only 66% of boys. 

Students with English as a second language perform slightly better than those who speak English as a first language in London, whilst the two groups perform similarly in the rest of England. 

Students with Special Educational Needs needs have much lower attainment than the average student and the attainment gap is roughly the same in London and the rest of England. 

In Lon…

London households affected by benefit cap (2014-2021 February)

The benefit cap limits the amount of benefit that most working-age people can receive. In London the limit is £23,000 per year or £15,410 for single adults with no children; this was reduced in 2015. The benefit cap is applied by either reducing Universal Credit or Housing Benefit (for those not claiming Universal Credit).

The benefit cap reduced the benefits of 46,374 more London families in February 2021 compared to February 2020 (pre-pandemic). This means that the number of families with their benefits capped in London has risen by more than double (232%) in the last year.

A possible explanation for this unprecedented increase could be the influx of new households on Universal Credit since the start of the pandemic. Furthermore, the additional £20 pound per week for those on Universal Credit could place households in a position where th…

Infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births (2001-2019)

In 2017-2019, the average number deaths per 1,000 live births was higher in England (3.9) than in London (3.4). 

To get to this point, infant mortality rates have fallen significantly in both London and England over the last two decades. In 2001-2003 the rate was slightly higher in London than in England overall, with an average of 5.7 deaths per 1,000 live births, while in England this figure was 5.4. In 2009-2011 the infant mortality rates were on average similar (4.4) in both London and England. 

In the years since, the infant mortality rate has fallen further in London (a reduction of 1 death per 1,000 live births) than in England (a reduction of 0.5 deaths per 1,000 live births).

Infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births by London borough (2017-2019)

Whilst infant mortality rates vary significantly across London boroughs, in all but six boroughs, they are lower than in England overall.

The average number of deaths per 1,000 live births in 2017 to 2019 was 3.4 in London, whereas in England it was 3.9. Lambeth is the borough with the highest infant mortality rate in London (4.7 per 1,000 live births). Richmond upon Thames is the London borough with the lowest infant mortality rate (2.2 per 1,000 live births).

Material deprivation of children in London (2019/20)

More children are materially deprived in London than the rest of England whether or not they are in poverty. Material deprivation is based on a weighted score of responses to questions about what material things - such as a warm winter coat or a safe outdoors space to play - children go without.

In 2019/20, just over two in five (41%) of children living in households in poverty in London are classed as materially deprived (down slightly from 45% in 2018/19), compared with 37% in the rest of England (unchanged). For children who do not live in households in poverty, the proportion of materially deprived children is 11% in London and 10% in the rest of England.

More than half (51%) of children in London in poverty went without a holiday away from home for at least one week a year with their family, the highest rate for any item or activity.

Proportion of households in poverty by family type (2019-20)

Poverty rates amongst most household types in London are higher than in the rest of England. For example, the poverty rate for couple pensioners (23%) in London is almost twice that of couple pensioners (13%) in the rest of England. Similarly, 28% of couples with children are in poverty in London compared to 21% in the rest of England. Couples without children have similar poverty rates in both London (12%) and the rest of England (13%).

Single parents with children are more likely to be in poverty than any other type of household. Half of single parents in London (50%) were in poverty, more than four times the proportion of couples without children.

Poverty for children, pensioners and working-age adults (2009/2010 and 2019/2020)

Children, working age adults and pensioners all have higher rates of poverty in London than in the rest of England. Of the three age groups, children have the highest poverty rates, with 38% of children in London in poverty in 2019/20, compared to 24% of working-age adults and 25% of pensioners. 

In both London and the rest of England, poverty rates fell between 2009/10 and 2010/20 for children and working-age adults in the rest of England, although, poverty rates remained flat for children in the rest of England at 29%. Also, the poverty rate for pensioners rose in London but remained flat in the rest of England. 

Proportion of Londoners in poverty after housing costs by age band (2019/20)

In both London and the rest of England, poverty rates (after housing costs) are highest amongst children and young people in 2019/20. 

In London:

  • Under a quarter of a million (220,000) children aged four and under live in households in poverty;
  • More than a third of children aged up to 14 are in households in poverty (35% of those aged 0-4, 36% of those aged 5-9 and 41% of those aged 10-14); and
  • Two out of five 15 to 19 year-olds (41%) live in households that are in poverty. 

In contrast, one in five Londoners aged 25-29 (19%) live in households that are in poverty - the lowest rate for any age group. 

Poverty rates in London are higher than those in the rest of England for people of all ages. 

The impacts of housing costs on poverty in the capital can again be seen by comparing these findings to those from measures of poverty before housing cos…

How much weekly income is needed to not be in poverty?

Household types Minimum Income Standard - Inner London (AHC), 2020 Minimum Income Standard - Outer London (AHC), 2020 UK poverty line - After Housing Costs, 2020 Destitution, 2020
Single, working-age £276 £253 £141 £70
Couple, working-age £379 £408 £244 £105
Single, pensioner £212 £188 £141 NA
Couple, pensioner £393 £325 £244 NA
Lone parent, one child (aged one) £297 £315 £190 £95
Couple with two children (aged three and seven) £514 £532 £346 £145

Note: MIS figures are updated to reflect the report produced by Loughborough University for TfL in 2029. For family types where updates are not available we have carried forward the 2016/17 data and adjusted for inflation by CPIH. Destitution is defined by the JRF as people who went without 2 or more essentials in the past month because they couldn't afford them, or their income is extremely low

Data source: Poverty thresholds are from Households Below Average Income 2019/20, Department for Work and Pensions. Minimum Income Standard thresholds are based on the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) for London, Trust for London 2020. Destitution in the UK 2020, JRF

The table shows different definitions and thresholds necessary to not be considered either in poverty or deprived. The amount of income is dependent on the type of household.

The Mini…

Number of children, adults, and pensioners in London in poverty by working status (2009/2010, 2014/2015 and 2019/2020)

As employment rates have increased in the capital, so too has the number of adults in poverty who are in working families. In 2009/10 870,000 working-age adults were in poverty in working families, compared to 1 million in 2019/20 (a 15% increase over the decade). This tendency is stronger for children in working families in poverty: 380,000 children were in this position in 2009/10, compared to 610,000 in 2019/20 (an increase of 60% over the decade).

In contrast, the number of working-age adults and children in poverty who are in workless families have both fallen over the last decade.

The number of pensioners in poverty in the capital has remained broadly stable in the last decade, with 260,000 in poverty in 2019/20.

Whilst there are more people in poverty in working families than in workless families, this - at least in part - is a refle…

Poverty rates by demographic characteristics in London (2019/20)

Poverty rates vary significantly across different demographic groups in London and the rest of England.

Overall, poverty rates amongst men and women are similar. However, in the rest of England both men and women have a lower poverty rate (both 21%) compared to those in London (28% and 29% respectively).

Both in London and the Rest of England, poverty rates are higher for BME people (39% and 38%) than for White groups (21% and 19%). Amongst the different family types, single parents with children are most likely to experience poverty. In London, 53% of this group were in poverty in 2019/20. Between 2014/15 and 2019/20, London pensioners experienced the largest increase in poverty rates. The poverty rate for couple pensioners rose by 6 percentage points (from 15% to 21%) and for single pensioners also by 6 percentage points (from 22% to 28%…

Average income deprivation percentile of the neighbourhoods that schools are located in by Ofsted rating (2020)

Ofsted ratings are given to schools by inspectors and range from 'Outstanding' to 'Inadequate'. They are based on a range of observations about a school's performance. 

This indicator shows that, on average, the better a school’s Ofsted rating is, the less deprived a neighbourhood it tends to be located in. 

Whilst this is true across the country, the relationship is less pronounced in London than in the rest of England. This means that children in London who live in deprived neighbourhoods are more likely to have a school with a good Ofsted rating in their neighbourhood than those living in deprived neighbourhoods in the rest of the country.

This is particularly true for secondary schools, where there is not a clear relationship between schools’ Ofsted rating and the deprivation of the neighbourhood in which they a…

Temporary accommodation types in London (2002-2021 (Q1))

Local authorities, including London boroughs, have legal duties to provide accomodation to people who are homeless. Whilst they are waiting for a permanent solution, such as a home provided by a housing association, local authorities must house them in temporary accommodation such as nightly accommodation, the Private Rented Sector, or Bed and Breakfasts. 

Over the last 20 years, the number of households in temporary accommodation at a given point has drastically changed. After the peak of 2005, the number of households in temporary accommodation drastically decreased up to 2011, where almost 36,000 households were in temporary accommodation. However, since 2012 this number has steadily increased and we’re now at levels close to what we’ve seen in 2006. In 2020, nearly 61,000 London households were in temporary accommodation. 

The most pre…

Population by age-groups (2019)

London’s population is comparatively young; the average (median) age in London is 35.6, compared to 40.3 in the UK overall. 

More than one in 10 people living in Inner London (11.4%) are aged between 30 and 34. This compares to just 6.3% of those in the rest of England. More broadly, in Inner London, almost half the population is made up out of those who are in their early twenties to early forties (46.7%), compared to the rest of England where three in 10 (30.9%) are in this age group, and Inner London is home to a higher proportion of young people than Outer London. 

This is caused by people moving to Inner London for work early in their careers and then leaving as they start families. The largest five-year age band is 30 to 34 year olds in Inner London, 35 to 39 year olds in Outer London and 50 to 54 year olds in the rest of England. A …