Londoners aged over 65

Date 31 August 2017
Date updated 20 April 2020

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 (2017/18)

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 9% of those in the bottom 20% of the net income distribution live in households where all adults work. In contrast, 55% of those in the top 20% of the net income distribution live in households where all adults work. One in five (21%) of those in the bottom net income quintile live in workless households, compared to just 1% of those in the top net income quintile.

How much weekly income is needed to not be in poverty?

Household types Minimum Income Standard - Inner London (AHC), 2018 Minimum Income Standard - Outer London (AHC), 2018 UK poverty line - After Housing Costs, 2018 Destitution, 2018
Single, working-age £269 £245 £152 £70
Couple, working-age £368 £398 £263 £100
Single, pensioner £206 £183 £152 NA
Couple, pensioner £382 £317 £263 NA
Lone parent, one child (aged one) £291 £308 £205 £90
Couple with two children (aged three and seven) £503 £520 £373 £140

Note: MIS figures are updated to reflect the report produced by Loughborough University for TfL in 2019. 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 2017/18, Department for Work and Pensions. Minimum Income Standard thresholds are based on the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) for London, Trust for London 2018. Destitution in the UK 2018, JRF

There are a number of different definitions of poverty including the UK poverty line, the Minimum Income Standard (MIS), and the UK destitution line. This table shows how poverty thr…

Poverty for children, pensioners and working-age adults (2007/08 and 2017/18)

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 37% of children in London in poverty, compared to 25% of working-age adults and 24% of pensioners.

In both London and the rest of England, poverty rates fell between 2007/08 and 2017/18 for children but rose or remained flat for working-age adults. The poverty rate for pensioners rose in London but fell in the rest of England.

Number of children, adults, and pensioners in London in poverty by working status (2007/08, 2012/13 and 2017/18)

As employment rates have increased in the capital, so too has the number of adults in poverty who are in working families. In 2007/08, 740,000 working-age adults were in poverty in working families, compared to 1.05 million in 2017/18 (a 42% increase over the decade). There is a similar story for children in working families in poverty; 340,000 children were in this position in 2007/08, compared to 550,000 in 2017/18 (an increase of 62% 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 250,000 in poverty in 2017/18.

Whilst there are more people in poverty in working families than in workless families, this (at least in part) is a refl…

Population by age-groups (2018)

London’s population is young (average age 36.5) compared to the UK overall (40.3).

More than one in 10 people living in Inner London (11.7%) are aged between 30 and 34. This compares to just 6.2% 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 (47%), compared to the rest of England where three in 10 (31%) 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 small proportion of London’s population is ove…

Proportion of Londoners in poverty after housing costs by age band (2017/18)

In both London and the rest of England, poverty rates (after housing costs) are highest amongst children and young people.

In London:

  • More than a quarter of a million (250,000) children aged four and under live in households in poverty - more than any other age group;
  • More than a third of children aged up to 14 are in households in poverty (38% of those aged 0-4, 32% of those aged 5-9 and 37% of those aged 10-14); and
  • Nearly half (44%) of those aged 15-19 live in households that are in poverty.

In contrast, one in five Londoners aged 35-39 (21%) 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 …

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

London has a lower old-age dependency ratio than the rest of England; in Inner London in 2018, there were 13 people over the age of 65 for every 100 working-age adults. This compares to 21 in Outer London and 31 in the rest of England. 

The dependency ratio reflects the degree to which the working-age population and national and local government might need support those who are retired. As the population ages, the dependency ratio is projected to increase. The dependency ratio is set to increase faster in Inner London than the rest of England - by about a third versus by about a quarter - although it is starting from a lower base in Inner London.

Proportion of households in poverty by family type (2017-18)

Poverty rates amongst most household types in London are higher than in the rest of England. For example, the poverty rate for couple pensioners (21%) in London is almost twice that of couple pensioners (12%) in the rest of England. Similarly, 29% of couples with children are in poverty in London compared to 21% in the rest of England. The exception is couples without children, where poverty rates (12%) are the same in London and the rest of England.

Single parents with children are more likely to be in poverty than any other type of household. Over half of single parents in London (53%) were in poverty, more than four times the proportion of couples without children. 

The biggest difference in the composition of those in poverty between London and the rest of England is the proportion of those in poverty accounted for by single people wit…

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%).