Date 31 August 2017
Date updated 20 April 2020

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

Gender: Indicators

Unemployment counts in London by sex (1992 - 2019)

The number of unemployed people in London has halved since its post-financial crisis peak in 2011 (from 450,000 in 2011 to 210,000 in 2019). 

Over the past three decades, the gender split of unemployment has become more even. In 1993, there were almost two unemployed men for every unemployed woman, but by 2013 the numbers were broadly similar with roughly 190,000 of both genders unemployed. Since then, unemployment has fallen faster for women than it has for men, with 129,000 unemployed men in 2019 and 84,000 unemployed women.

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.

Proportion of workers in London in temporary employment (2008 - 2019)

Over 5% of people in work in London are on temporary contracts. Temporary contracts are more prevalent amongst women in work than men: 50% more women than men were on a temporary contract in 2019.  

The proportion of workers on temporary contracts has remained relatively consistent over the past decade, fluctuating between 5% and 6% of all workers. In 2019, 1.15% of women in work and 0.53% of men in work were on a temporary contract and reported that it was because they could not find a permanent job.

People sleeping rough in London by nationality (2011/12 - 2018/19)

The number of people sleeping rough in London has more than doubled in a decade. Some 8,855 people were recorded sleeping rough in the capital in 2018/19 compared to 3,472 in 2008/09. 

Most people sleeping rough are white, although the number of BAME people sleeping rough has risen faster than the number of white people. Of the people whose nationality is known, around half are British citizens, with EU citizens making up most of the rest. A large majority (84%) of people sleeping rough in London are men.

The majority of rough sleeping takes place in Central London. This has been the case for some time, but the proportion of people sleeping rough who do so in Central London has fallen from over two thirds in 2011/12 to just over a half in 2018/19. This has been primarily driven by a rise in rough sleeping in East London.

This information co…

Life expectancy at birth by London borough (2015-17)

The above graph shows overall life expectancy at birth as well as healthy life expectancy. The below graph indicates the number of years a person can expect to live in good health rather than with a disability or in poor health.

Overall life expectancy is higher for women than for men in 2015 to 2017. This is true across all London boroughs. However, this is less clear for healthy life expectancy, with some boroughs having a longer healthy life expectancy for men than women. For example, healthy life expectancy for men in Sutton is 69.8 years, whereas for women it is 66.4 years.

The highest life expectancy for women (86.5 years) is found in Camden, while for men the highest life expectancy is 83.2 years in Kensington and Chelsea. The lowest life expectancy for both men (77.8 years) and women (82.1 years) is found in Barking and Dagenham, h…

Economic activity status of Londoners aged 16 and over (2019)

Over 4.6 million Londoners - 65% of the adult population - are in work of some kind. This is higher than the 61% of adults who are employed in the rest of England.

There are over 400,000 more men in work in London than women. The men who work in London are also more likely to be self-employed, with 23% of men who work in London doing so for themselves compared to 14% of women.

35% of adults in London are economically inactive. Women are significantly more likely to be economically inactive than men, with 41% of women not working compared to 28% of men. For many types of inactivity, women and men have very similar rates, including long-term sickness, studying and unemployment. However, women were significantly more likely to not be working because they were looking after the home or family, with 10% of women -  360,000 people - being homema…

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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