Poverty for London's adults, children and pensioners, by family work status

Date 1 September 2017
Date updated 20 April 2020

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 reflection of the fact that employment is high and worklessness low in the capital (meaning that the overall population in working families is significantly larger than that of workless families).

We can also see that poverty rates for people in workless families are significantly higher than for people in workless families. This means that those in workless families are far more likely to be in poverty. For example, more than eight in ten (81%) children in workless families are in poverty, compared to less than three in ten (32%) children in working families. For working-age adults, 67% of those in workless families are in poverty, compared to 20% of those in working families.