Ethnicity

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 (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…

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

The size of London’s population has changed dramatically over the past century; falling from a pre-Second World War high of 8.6 million people in 1939 to around 6.8 million in the 1980s. The fall was most pronounced in Inner London, which saw its population reduce by almost half over 50 years. 

London’s population has been recovering since the early 1990s and hit a new high of 9 million in 2019. In a reversal of the mid-20th Century trend, both Inner and Outer London have been growing steadily, although Inner London is still a million people short of its population in 1931. By 2030, London’s population is expected t…

Poverty rates by demographic characteristics in London (2018/19)

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 21% and 22% respectively) compared to those in London (28% and 29% respectively). 

Within London, poverty rates are almost twice as high for BME groups (39%) 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 2018/19. Between 2014/15 and 2018/19, 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%).

Proportion of London's working-age population who are not in paid work by ethnic group (2009/10 and 2019/20 (Q2))

In the decade up to 2019/20, 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 40% of the working-age population not working. This is, however, down from 50% a decade ago. 

The largest fall in rates of worklessness can be seen in people from “Other ethnic groups”. 

White people have the lowest rate of being out of work (20%) and also see the smallest fall (of 7 percentage points) in the last decade.

Worklessness for men and women in London by country of birth (2019/20 (Q2))

In 2019/20, 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 66%, for those born in Pakistan. 

South Africa has the lowest rates of worklessness for both men (1%) and women (8%). For most countries, the worklessness rate is higher for women than men. However, this trend does not hold true for those born in Spain.