Shared Opportunities

London's Poverty Profile is divided into five themes: 

  • People; 
  • Living standards;
  • Housing;
  • Work, worklessness and benefits; and 
  • Shared opportunities. 

Each one provides insights into a range of different indicators of poverty and inequality across London, drawing comparisons over time, between different boroughs and with the rest of the country.

The Shared Opportunities theme looks more broadly at the wide range of areas where we can see poverty, inequality and opportunity overlapping – for example, access to public services, the quality of public services, air quality and pollution, community cohesion, and a range of issues around violence, crime and other concerns, such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Shared Opportunities: Indicators

19-year-olds without Level 2 or Level 3 qualifications (2004/05-2019/20)

Qualification levels of 19-year-olds have significantly improved over time. This is particularly evident in Inner London where the proportion of 19-year-olds without Level 3 qualifications (A Levels and equivalents) has fallen from 61.1% in 2004/05 to 33.5% in 2019/20.

As a result of this, 19 year-olds in Inner London now perform more or less on a par with young people in Outer London and better than their peers in the rest of England (where 44.1% of 19-year-olds lack Level 3 qualifications).

A similar trend can be seen in Level 2 qualifications (the equivalent of GCSEs), although the proportion of 19-year-olds without these qualifications (in London and the rest of England) has risen slightly since 2014/15.

Access to Healthy Assets and Hazards Index (rebased for London) (2019)

AHAH (the index of ‘Access to Health Assets and Hazards’) is a multi-dimensional index developed by the Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC) for Great Britain measuring how ‘healthy’ neighbourhoods are. It combines indicators under four different domains of accessibility:

  • Retail environment (access to fast food outlets, pubs, off-licences, tobacconists, gambling outlets);
  • Health services (access to GPs, hospitals, pharmacies, dentists, leisure services);
  • Physical environment (Blue Space, Green Space - Active, Green Space - Passive); and
  • Air quality (Nitrogen Dioxide, Particulate Matter 10, Sulphur Dioxide).

The map here is rebased for London, so that 10% of areas in the city fall into the worst performing decile, the next 10% into the next decile, and so on. London is, in general, a relatively unhealthy place when compared to the countryside …

Level 3 attainment gap between Free School Meals and non-Free School Meals students at 19 years-of-age (2005-2020)

The attainment gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students is lower in Inner London than in Outer London and lower in Outer London than it is in the rest of England. 

In Inner London in 2020, 19 year olds who were eligible for Free School Meals at the end of Key Stage 4 were 13 percentage points less likely to have gained Level 3 qualifications (equivalent to A levels) than their peers who were not eligible for Free School Meals. In Outer London the figure was 20 percentage points and in the rest of England it was 28 percentage points.

Looking over the past decade, the attainment gap has remained fairly consistent, with Inner London always having a smaller gap than Outer London or the rest of England. 

These maps show data from our London borough comparison tile.

Boroughs have been labelled higher, lower, or mid (average) according to threshold values of one standard deviation above or below the mean of all the borough values.

Childhood obesity for children in Year 6 by London borough (2009/10 and 2019/20)

Childhood obesity is more prevalent in London than England overall. In 2019/20, some 23.2% of children in Year 6 were considered obese in London, compared to 20.2% in England.

Over the last decade, the prevalence of childhood obesity has risen by 1.9 percentage points in both London and England overall. The majority of boroughs had a higher prevalence of childhood obesity than England overall in both 2009/10 and 2019/20.

Public Health England’s latest figures in 2019/20 show that Barking and Dagenham has the highest proportion of childhood obesity out of all London boroughs at 2%. The borough also had the largest rise in childhood obesity since 2009/10 (a 5.7 percentage point increase). At the other end of the scale, 11.1% of Year 6 children in Richmond upon Thames are obese in 2019/20 with just a 0.1 percentage point increase compared to …

English Index of Multiple Deprivation (rebased for London) (2019)

The Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) is an overall relative measure of deprivation constructed by combining 7 domains of deprivation (with different weightings). The Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC) highlight how it varies with one of its domains - 'Education, Skills and Training', which measures the lack of attainment and skills in the local population.

The Education, Skills and Training domain (which makes up 13.5% of the overall index by weight) shows a more noticeable east-west variation than the overall index and its other domains, which typically have more of an inner/outer London pattern.

  • Bexley, Bromley and Havering in the south-east and east of London score noticeably worse (more oranges/reds) in this domain than in the overall index which may reflect historical inequalities in education access that have persisted…

Crimes recorded by neighbourhood income deprivation decile in London (March 2020-February 2021)

Recorded crime in London is more prevalent in the neighbourhoods with the highest levels of income deprivation:

  • Overall, 80% more crimes were recorded in the most income-deprived areas;
  • Violence, robbery and sexual offences are 2.6 times more prevalent in the most income-deprived 10% of areas compared to the least income-deprived 10%; and 
  • Drugs and weapons offences are 2.3 times more prevalent in the most income-deprived 10% of areas compared to the least income-deprived 10%. 

This latest crime data for London's Poverty Profile (covering March 2020 - February 2021) shows a significant change in the distribution of reported offences compared to the March 2019 - February 2020 period, probably as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst crime in the most deprived neighbourhoods increased by 15% between the two periods, it decreased by 18…

Destinations of KS5 school leavers in London, after two terms (2019/20)

34% of young people completing KS5 (post-GCSE qualifications) in London in 2019/20 were classed as disadvantaged, compared to 24% in the rest of England. In London, the most common destination was higher education, with similar numbers of disadvantaged (43%) and non-disadvantaged (47%) students going to university. This is very different from the rest of England, where a lower proportion of people attend higher education overall, and the gap between disadvantaged (26%) and non-disadvantaged (38%) students is much greater. In London, young people are less likely to enter work (17%, compared to 25% in the rest of England) or begin an apprenticeship (4%, compared to 8% in the rest of England).

Pupils are classified as disadvantaged in Year 11 if they are either eligible for free school meals in the last 6 years or were looked after by a loca…

DERI (The Digital Exclusion Risk Index) has been produced by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, following on from an original project by Salford City Council to examine relative risk of digital exclusion by local communities in the area. The value of the index in the wider region, and across Great Britain, was recognised by the authority, which has therefore compiled the index to cover the whole country, and regularly updated and refined its methodology.

Using DERI can give an insight into areas which may suffer increased digital exclusion as public services move online. In London's case, this is another factor to consider when looking at London's poverty and deprivation picture in general.

Here, we look at the DERI v1.5 which was released in late 2021, and look to see how it can inform variations in the risk of exclusion…

GCSE attainment - grades 9-4 in English and Maths by London borough (2021)

State-educated students in London have higher GCSE attainment rates than those in England as a whole, with 75.6% of students achieving grades 9-4 (A*- C under the old grading system) in GCSE English and Maths in 2021 (up from 75% in 2020), compared to 72.2% in all of England (up from 71% in 2020). 

Over three quarters of the London boroughs have a higher GCSE attainment rate than the average rate of England. The boroughs with the highest GCSE attainment rates are Sutton, Kingston upon Thames, Barnet, and Richmond upon Thames, which all saw over 83% of their students achieving grades 9-4 in English and Maths in 2021.

GCSE attainment by ethnicity (2020)

GCSE attainment is higher in London than in the rest of England. This was 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.

Attainment increased from 2020 to 2019 both in London and the rest of England across almost all groups. The only exception were Asian students, whose grades fell between 2020 and 2019. The largest relative rise in attainment was recorded for students with special education needs.

The increase in grades from 2019 to 2020 far surpasses year-on-year increases observed historically, so it is unlikely to be wholly accounted for by regular grade inflation. Attainment in maths, for instance, fell between 2017 and 2019 in London, while attainment in English remained broadly similar. The sharp increase in …

Infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births (2001-2020)

In 2018-2020, the average number of deaths per 1,000 live births was higher in England (3.9) than in London (3.4). 

To get to this point, infant mortality rates have fallen significantly in both London and England over the last two decades. In 2001-2003 the rate was slightly higher in London than in England overall, with an average of 5.7 deaths per 1,000 live births, while in England this figure was 5.4. In 2009-2011 the infant mortality rates were on average similar (4.4) in both London and England. 

In the years since, the infant mortality rate has fallen further in London (a reduction of 1death per 1,000 live births) than in England (a reduction of 0.5 deaths per 1,000 live births).

The data is based on three-year averages and therefore data referring to COVID-19 (in 2020) cannot be isolated from the latest datapoint.

Infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births by London borough (2018-20)

Whilst infant mortality rates vary significantly across London boroughs, in all but nine boroughs, they are lower than in England overall. 

The average number of deaths per 1,000 live births in 2018 to 2020 was 3.4 in London, whereas in England it was 3.9. Hounslow is the borough with the highest infant mortality rate in London (4.7 per 1,000 live births). Wandsworth is the London borough with the lowest infant mortality rate (1.9 per 1,000 live births).

The data is based on three-year averages and therefore data referring to COVID-19 (in 2020) cannot be isolated from the latest datapoint.

Qualification levels of disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged KS5 leavers in London (2020)

In 2020, the majority of London’s KS5 school leavers of both disadvantaged (80%) and non-disadvantaged (83%) backgrounds had Level 3 qualifications (e.g. A-levels).

This is in contrast to the rest of England. A lower proportion (79%) of non-disadvantaged KS5 school leavers had Level 3 qualifications, while only 61% of disadvantaged KS5 school leavers had a Level 3 qualification.

According to the Department for Education, students are considered disadvantaged in Year 11 and attract pupil premium funding if they are eligible for free school meals at any point in the last six years, have been looked after by the local authority, or have been adopted from care.

Life expectancy at birth by London borough (2017-19)

This indicator shows overall life expectancy at birth as well as healthy life expectancy. The latter 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 2017 to 2019. 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 Tower Hamlets is 62.9 years whereas for women it is only 59.2 years.

The highest life expectancy for both men and women is in Westminster, with 84.9 and 87.2 respectively. The lowest life expectancy for both men (78.1 years) and women (82.3 years) is found in Barking and Dagenham, however it is notable that the borough perform…

Standardised morbidity rates: alcohol-related (XALC) (2013)

Geographical disparities in health present important research and policy challenges. Disparities can be indicative of different forms of spatially patterned advantage or disadvantage. Local age and sex-standardised hospital admissions rates can provide insights into health disparities and may act as input into health geographic research or local policy instruments.

Certain disease groups are internationally recognised as being indicators of poverty and deprivation. Their wide variation in incidence rates across a large city such as London can therefore provide important supplementary information on areas of deprivation that might otherwise be missed, as well as possible interventions.

The maps here show the spatial distribution of various disease groups and alcohol-related conditions, across London. A spatially-smoothed, age- and sex-stand…

Personal wellbeing estimates by London borough (2020/21)

Living standards are not just about poverty, income and wealth. A wide range of other factors contribute to living standards and well-being and, again, there is a large range of outcomes across London on many of these indicators. This indicator looks at the measures of well-being both in London and England before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both anxiety and life satisfaction are measured on a 0-10 scale, where 0 indicates low levels of anxiety and well-being, while 10 indicates high levels. As such, low anxiety scores indicate higher levels of well-being (lower anxiety), while low life satisfaction scores indicate lower levels of well-being.

In 2020/21, average well-being score in London (7.27) was lower than in England as a whole (7.38), with a substantial decrease in both scores compared to 2018/19 (7.58 and 7.71, respectively).


Premature deaths per 100,000 under-75 year olds by London borough (2018-20)

The rate of premature deaths is lower in the majority of London boroughs compared to England overall. However, 10 London boroughs have rates of premature deaths that are higher than that of England overall.

Premature deaths are calculated as an average across three years (from 2018 to 2020) and look at the mortality rate for all deaths under the age of 75. They are presented as a rate per 100,000 people aged under 75 in each area. Since they are three-year averages, the impact of COVID-19 (in 2020) on mortality rates cannot be isolated from the latest datapoint.

The average number of deaths per 100,000 under-75 year olds in England is 330, whereas in London it is 303. Barking and Dagenham has, on average, the highest premature death rate (449 per 100,000 under-75 year olds), whereas Kensington and Chelsea has the lowest detectable rate (23…

Road traffic collisions recorded by neighbourhood deprivation decile in London (2020)

Over 21,000 road collisions were recorded in London in 2020. The vast majority of these resulted in only slight injuries such as whiplash and bruising, but over 2,800 resulted in serious injuries such as fractures and burns. Sadly, 94 road collisions in London in 2020 led to the death of one or more drivers, passengers, riders, cyclists or pedestrians. With less traffic during lockdowns, there were noticeably fewer collisions than in previous years - there were over 25,000 collisions in 2019.

There are more road traffic collisions recorded in the most deprived neighbourhoods in London than the least deprived. The 10% of areas with the highest deprivation saw nearly 2,500 collisions in 2020, more than double the 1,100 in the 10% of areas with the lowest deprivation. A similar pattern is seen on roads where the speed limit is below 30 miles…

Average income deprivation percentile of the neighbourhoods schools are located in by Ofsted rating (2021)

Ofsted ratings are given to schools by inspectors and range from 'Outstanding' to 'Inadequate'. They are based on a range of observations about a school's performance. 

This indicator shows that, on average, the better a school’s Ofsted rating is, the less deprived a neighbourhood it tends to be located in. 

Whilst this is true across the country, the relationship is less pronounced in London than in the rest of England. This means that children in London who live in deprived neighbourhoods are more likely to have a school with a good Ofsted rating in their neighbourhood than those living in deprived neighbourhoods in the rest of the country.

This is particularly true for secondary schools, where there is not a clear relationship between schools’ Ofsted rating and the deprivation of the neighbourhood in which they a…

Social inclusion and involvement in London by household income (2019)

Londoners give very similar answers about their civic and social inclusion no matter where they fall on the income scale. 26% of people living in households in the bottom quintile for income said they participated in some sort of civic activity (like campaigning) in the last 12 months, compared to 28% of people in the top income quintile.

There was a slightly larger difference between income groups for people reporting that they did not feel socially isolated; 86% of people in the highest income households had someone they could turn to compared to just 61% in the lowest income households.

Average travel time by public transport to jobs and services by neighbourhood income deprivation decile (2017)

Based on average travel times by public transport, Londoners have much better access to jobs and services than people in the rest of England. For example, the average journey time by public transport to the nearest large employment centre from the 10% most deprived areas is 20 minutes in London compared to 26 minutes in the rest of England. 

Based on the same measure, people living in the most income-deprived areas of London have slightly better access than those in less income-deprived areas. The average journey time to public services is more than 20% longer for the least deprived areas in London than the most deprived areas. 

Journey times are only part of how well Londoners can access jobs and services. Price is also an important factor with people on low incomes unable to make the most of the opportunities provided by the city’s publi…