Indicators with data available on Londoners' ethnic backgrounds

Date 31 August 2017
Date updated 31 May 2018

Although the poverty rate is not broken down by ethnicity, the available data on this site shows that issues of poverty and inequality particularly affect Londoners from ethnic minority backgrounds. 

The rates of low pay and worklessness for Pakistani/Bangladeshi people in London are both 46% - the highest rates of people from any ethnic background. 

Black Londoners are the most likely to be in insecure employment, whereas the risk for Londoners of Chinese, Indian, White and Bangladeshi ethnicity are relatively low. The rate of overcrowding is also much higher for Ethnic Minorities as a whole (13%) than White British people (5%).

The only measure where White British Londoners have worse outcomes is education. 86% of Chinese students have a C or above in English and Maths – by far the best of any ethnic background. Asian students are the next best at 74%, and then students from White and mixed backgrounds – with 66%. London students outperform students in the Rest of England on this measure for all ethnicities. 

You may also be interested in the data available for migrant Londoners.

Ethnicity: Indicators

10.3 Demographics and attainment gaps

This graph shows that pupils in London of every ethnicity have better attainment than their counterparts in the rest of England, as do pupils who speak English as a second language, and pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN).

At 39%, Black pupils have the highest proportion of pupils not achieving A* – C in English and maths GCSEs in London, followed by White and Mixed (34%) ethnicities. 

Pupils who do not speak English as their first language have similar attainment as those who do. This is particularly important to attainment levels in London, where 40% (and 51% in Inner London) of pupils do not speak English as a first language. In the rest of England, only 10% of pupils do not speak English as a first language.

In 22 London boroughs, pupils who do not speak English as a first language are more likely to achieve GCSEs than those who…

Worklessness by ethnicity

This graph shows worklessness that is either unemployed or economically inactive by ethnicity in 2006 and 2016. It also shows the share of each ethnic group who are workless as a proportion of the total.

In 2016 the worklessness rate for all ethnic groups had fallen compared with 2006, with the exception of those of Mixed ethnicity. Those of Pakistani or Bangladeshi ethnicity had the highest unemployment rate in 2016 at 46%, a decrease of 11* percentage points from 2006. Worklessness was lowest among those of White ethnicity in both 2016 and 2006, at 21% and 26% respectively. Although the proportion of those of White ethnicity who are workless is low, because they make up the majority of the working-age population, they are also the largest share of the unemployed at 49%. This is lower than in 2006 when it was 54%.

The Mixed, Pakistani and…

Worklessness by country of birth

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This graph shows the proportion of working-age men and women who are workless (unemployed or economically inactive) by their country of birth. The countries shown are the ones with the largest populations in London. In all countries of birth apart from Ireland, including the UK, female workless rates are higher than for males. The differences between genders are explained by levels of economic inactivity rather than unemployment, which suggests that caring responsibilities are a reason for this disparity. There is, however, a large difference between countries. The female workless rate among those born in Afghanistan is 62 percentage points higher than for men, while it is 3 percentage points higher for those born in Jamaica, Germany and Italy. For those born in Ireland the female workless rate is lower than the male worklessness rate by…

Insecure workers by age

This graph shows the proportion of employees aged 16 to 64 who are at risk of being in insecure employment by age group in London and the rest of England. Here we define the risk of insecure work as being on a zero-hours contract, in temporary employment, working for an agency, or some combination of these. It is important to note that this does not mean that all workers will experience these forms of employment negatively. This indicator also looks only at employees, and not self- employed workers who might be on a zero-hours, temporary or agency contract.

Since the recession the UK as a whole has seen a larger increase in insecure work than many other countries.* The Trades Union Congress found that the number of people in insecure work, which it defines as those working without guaranteed hours or baseline employment rights, increased …

Overcrowding 2

 In 2014/15, there were 250,000 households in London that were overcrowded by the ‘bedroom standard’ which assesses the number of bedrooms needed according to the size and composition of households. Of these overcrowded households, there were 50,000 households in owner-occupation and 100,000 households in each of the private rented sector and social rented sector. This represents 13% of the social renting households in London, 11% of private renting households and 3% of owner-occupiers.

Levels of overcrowding in London are more than twice as high as the rest of England for every tenure. In the rest of the country, the rates of overcrowding are 1% in owner-occupation, 4% in the private rented sector, and 5% in the social rented sector.

While rates of overcrowding in London are higher now than a decade ago, current levels of overcrowding in …

Low pay by ethnicity

The proportion of employees of each ethnic group that are paid below the LLW and the share of low-paid employees that this represents.

Low pay rates vary substantially among ethnic groups. The low pay rate for Bangladeshi and Pakistani employees, at 46%, is more than double the rate for White British employees at 19%. Those from Other ethnic groups and Black/African/ Caribbean/Black British have the next highest rates of low pay, at 37% and 35% respectively. 

The ethnic make-up of the working-age population means that the low-paid workforce as a whole looks different from what the numbers above might suggest. The largest group of low-paid workers are White British who make up 34% (310,000) of the low paid. This is a reduction on several years ago and the last London Poverty Profile report, which reflects that the proportion of employees wh…

Map of London's sub-regions
Image: London is divided into these 5 sub-regions for some administrative and data purposes.
Population of London's sub-regions
Image: London's population by sub-region.

The map and table show London's sub-regions and the breakdown of its population.

Inner East & South London’s population grew the fastest of any of London’s sub-regions over the last decade, by 24%. Inner West’s population grew the slowest, at 8%, the same rate as the rest of England. However, the Inner West still has a similar population density to the Inner East & South.

Inner East & South London has the highest population density of all of London’s sub-regions, 11,200 people per square km. The London average is 5,590 people per square km and the lowest density sub-region is Outer South with 3,600 people per square km. London’s overall p…