Poverty by age

Date 1 September 2017
Date updated 12 October 2017

Poverty by age

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What does this chart show?

This looks at poverty rates for children, working-age adults, and pensioners in 2003–04 to 2005–06 and in 2013–14 to 2015–16. It uses poverty measured after housing costs (AHC). It splits this by Inner and Outer London, London overall, and the rest of England.

In the three years to 2015–16, 37% of children, 24% of working-age adults, and 19% of pensioners were in poverty in London. In numbers this is 700,000 children, 1.4 million working-age adults, and 200,000 pensioners in poverty.

Compared with a decade earlier, the proportions of both children and pensioners in poverty are lower. The child poverty rate has fallen from 41% to 37%, and the pensioner poverty rate has fallen from 21% to 19%. Despite this, because of population growth, there are now around 90,000 more children in poverty and an unchanged number of pensioners. The proportion of working-age adults in poverty has risen slightly to 24%.

Poverty varies within London – it is consistently higher in Inner London than in Outer London, though the gaps are declining as poverty rates have fallen more in Inner London. The gap is greatest for child poverty rates, which are eight percentage points higher at 42% in Inner London. Working-age and pensioner poverty rates are seven and five percentage points higher in Inner London than Outer, at 29% and 23% respectively. Child poverty rates in Inner London were previously 16 percentage points higher than Outer London at 51%. Poverty rates for pensioners also fell more in Inner London, at four percentage points compared with one.

This pattern also holds if we look just at the last five years. In that period child and pensioner poverty have not fallen in Outer London, but have done so by two and three percentage points respectively in Inner London. Working-age poverty fell more in Inner London (three percentage points) than Outer (two percentage points).

In the three years to 2015/16, 39% of all people in poverty in London lived in Inner London. This was 43% a decade before. There are 900,000 people in poverty in Inner London, and 1.4 million in Outer London. This is 40,000 more and 250,000 more than a decade earlier respectively.

Poverty rates in both Inner and Outer London are higher than the rest of England. However, child and working-age poverty rates in the rest of England have increased over the last 10 years, in contrast to falling child poverty rates in London and a smaller increase for working-age adults. The improvement in pensioner poverty rates was more pronounced in the rest of England however, falling by four percentage points rather than two.