In 2015, the population of London is 8.7 million, higher than its peak in the 1930s – 3.4 million live in Inner London and 5.2 million in Outer London. By 2021 the figures are expected to increase to 3.7 million for Inner London and 5.6 million for Outer London. London has a higher proportion of people aged 25 to 34 than the rest of England, particularly Inner London. It also has a higher proportion of children aged 0 to 4 and a lower proportion of people aged 50 or over. Inner London has a higher proportion of single person (28%) and multi-family households (18%) than the rest of England. The proportion in Outer London lies between Inner London and the rest of England. The population of the Inner East & South grew by 21% over the last decade, faster than any other London sub-region. Population growth was slowest in the Inner West at 7%, similar to the rest of England. Population density in Inner London is more than 10,000 people per square km, compared with 4,000 in Outer London and 400 on average in the rest of England. The Inner East & South and Outer West & Northwest have the highest proportion of black and minority ethnic (BME, which does not include white minority groups) population at 48% and 46% respectively. The Inner West has the highest proportion of the population not born in the UK at 44%. The proportion of the population from a BME group has increased most in Outer London. In the 10 years to 2011 it rose by 16 percentage points in the Outer East & Northeast, by 11 percentage points in the other Outer London sub-regions and by 8 percentage points in the Inner London sub-regions. The number of people born in India, Pakistan and Poland rose substantially between 2004 and 2014, while the number from Bangladesh and Ireland fell. In recent years net migration in London has been relatively stable. More people move to London from abroad than the other way round, but more leave London for the rest of the UK than the other way around.
London’s Poverty Profile
1 27% of Londoners live in poverty after housing costs are taken into account, compared with 20% in the rest of England. The cost of housing is the main factor explaining London’s higher poverty rate.
2 The majority of people living in poverty are in a working family. As employment has increased so has the number of people in a working family in poverty – from 700,000 to 1.2 million in the last decade, an increase of 70%.
3 The total wealth of a household at the bottom (the 10th percentile) is £6,300, nearly 60% less than for the rest of Britain. Towards the top (the 90th percentile) it was £1.1 million, 22% higher than the rest of Britain. London’s 90:10 wealth ratio is 173, almost three times the ratio for the rest of Britain (at 60).
4 The number of unemployed adults is at its lowest level since 2008, at just over 300,000. The unemployment ratio in Inner London has halved over the past 20 years reaching 5.6%, only slightly higher than Outer London (5.2%) and the rest of England (4.8%).
5 Almost 700,000 jobs in London (18%) pay below the London Living Wage. This number has increased for five consecutive years. The largest increase was among men working full-time.
6 At 860,000 there are more private renters in poverty than social renters or owners. A decade ago it was the least common tenure among those in poverty. Most children in poverty are in rented housing (more than 530,000), half with a registered social landlord and half with a private landlord. The number of children in poverty in private rented housing has more than doubled in ten years.
7 There was a net increase of 7,700 affordable homes a year compared with a target of 13,200 (40% below the target). 60% were available for social rent.
8 There were 27,000 landlord possession orders (permitting landlords to immediately evict tenants). This rate is more than double the rest of England. The highest rates were in Outer London.
9 48,000 households live in temporary accommodation in London (three times higher than the rest of England put together), 15,600 of which live outside their home borough. Over the last two years an estimated 2,700 families have been placed in accommodation outside London.
10 In 2015, 10,500 families were affected by the overall benefit cap including 2,400 losing more than £100 per week. If the cap is lowered as planned, they will lose another £58 a week and a further 20,000 families will be affected.
11 Half of 0 to19-year-olds in London (1.1 million) live in a family that receives tax credits. Planned cuts to in-work tax credits in April 2016 are likely to affect 640,000 children.
12 In every London borough pupils receiving free school meals did better on average at GCSE than their peers in the rest of England.
South London boroughs rank among the highest in the capital for displaying huge disparities in wealth between its poorest and richest.
Bromley, Bexley and Richmond are among the worst five London boroughs, alongside Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea, for 'benefit polarisation.' This refers to a situation in which a high proportion of the benefit claimants in each borough reside in small, concentrated areas. The report shows inequality in Richmond to be particularly stark. As well as high benefit polarisation, Richmond is among the worst eight London boroughs for GCSE attainment by pupils who get free school meals – despite above-average GCSE results across the borough as a whole.
The report says Merton, Waltham Forest and Lambeth, far from the most expensive boroughs, are the only other boroughs with more than half of their temporary accommodation households placed outside of the borough. Lewisham was also found to score below the average for London as a whole, with some of the capital's highest rates of out-of-work benefit claimants and worst educational statistics.
Hannah Aldridge, a senior researcher from New Policy Institute, said that while levels of poverty across London as a whole have not changed very much over the last ten years, the nature of poverty has changed significantly. Ms Aldridge said: “The number of people living in poverty hasn’t really changed; it has sort of moved in line with population growth. But the type of people in poverty is very different. The traditional view of poverty in London is sink estate, inner London, workless families. That’s not the case anymore. The typical person in poverty is in a working family, in a private rented sector and in outer London. And poverty overall has just become much more diffuse; it’s not as concentrated in small areas anymore.”