Date 31 August 2017
Date updated 20 April 2020

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

Ethnicity: Indicators

GCSE attainment by ethnicity (2018)

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 GCSEs than boys, with 71% of girls achieving grades 9-4 (the equivalent of A*-C under the old system) in English and Maths in London, but only 65% 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 opposite is true 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 London, Asian…

Proportion of London's working-age population who are not in paid work by ethnic group (2008/09 and 2018/19)

In the decade up to 2018/19, every major ethnic group in London has seen a fall in the proportion of people who are not in paid work. 

People of Pakistani/Bangladeshi background have the highest rates of not being in paid work, with 41% of the working-age population not working. White people have the lowest rate of being out of work (21%). 

The largest proportional change between 2008/09 - 2018/19 was for Indians, where the percentage of people not in work fell by more than a quarter. There are many reasons why an individual aged 16-64 might not be in paid work including studying, long-term illness, looking after the home and unemployment.

Worklessness for men and women in London by country of birth (2018/19)

Of men in London who were born overseas, those from China have the highest rate of worklessness (27%). Of women in London who were born overseas, the highest rate of worklessness is 69%, for those born in Bangladesh. 

The lowest rates of worklessness are for men born in South Africa (5%) and for women born in Lithuania (12%). For most countries, the worklessness rate is higher for women than men. However, this trend does not hold true for those born in France, Ireland or Lithuania.

London's sub-regions (2018)

Key population statistics for London and it's sub-regions

Region Total population Population change Population per km2 % BME % not UK-born
London sub-region: Central 1,564,700 +13% 12,129 38% 41%
London sub-region: East 2,836,800 +16% 6,154 45% 34%
London sub-region: North 996,600 +12% 2,162 37% 38%
London sub-region: South 1,629,100 +9% 4,188 30% 28%
London sub-region: West 1,880,800 +9% 4,774 48% 42%
London 8,908,000 +12% 5,667 41% 36%
Rest of England 47,069,200 +7% 366 11% 11%

Data source: Mid-year population estimates (2018), Population of the UK by country of birth and nationality, Annual Population Survey (2018), ONS. Ethnic group populations from Annual Population Survey ONS, via London Datastore

More than 8.9 million people live in London. Between 2008 and 2018, London’s population increased at a faster rate than the rest of England. East London saw the biggest increase (16%), in comparison to London’s overall growth of 12%, and the rest of England’s growth of 7%. 

In terms of living proximity, Central London has the highest level of population density with 12,129 people per km2, which is over twice the level of London overall. Still, London is 15 times more dense than the rest of England, with 5,667 and 366 people per km2 respectively.

In terms of one aspect of diversity, 41% of Londoners are Black and Mino…

Poverty rates by demographic characteristics in London (2017/18)

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 (with 20% and 22% respectively) compared to those in London (27% and 28% respectively).

Within London, poverty rates are almost twice as high for BME groups (38%) as for white groups (21%). Amongst the different family types, single parents with children are most likely to experience poverty. In London, 54% of this group were in poverty in 2017/18. Between 2013/14 and 2017/18, London pensioners experienced the largest increase in poverty rates. The poverty rate for couple pensioners rose by 5 percentage points (from 15% to 20%) and for single pensioners by 5 percentage points (from 22% to 27%).

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