Pensioners

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

Pensioners: Indicators

Work status of London households by net income quintile (2019/20)

This indicator shows that household work status is closely related to household net incomes. Overall, households with lower net incomes are more likely to include inactive, retired or unemployed adults.

For example, just 7.6% of those in the bottom 20% of the net income distribution live in households where all adults work, while 56.6% of those in the top 20% of the net income distribution live in households where all adults work. On the contrary, one in five of those in the bottom net income quintile live in workless households, compared to just 2.1% of those in the top net income quintile.

Old-age dependency ratio by area over time (2000 - 2030)

Both Inner and Outer London have a lower old-age dependency ratio than the rest of England. In Inner London in 2020, there were 13.6 people over the age of 65 for every 100 working-age adults. This compares to 21.6 in Outer London and 32.1 in the rest of England. 

The dependency ratio reflects the degree to which the working-age population and national and local government might need to support those who are retired. As the population ages, the dependency ratio is projected to increase quite rapidly.

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%…

Population by age-groups (2020)

More than one in 10 people living in Inner London (11.1%) 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 (46.2%), compared to the rest of England where three in 10 (30.8%) 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 relatively small proportion of London’s population is over 65; 10% in Inner London and 13.8% in Outer London compared to 19.…