Borough Profile: Waltham Forest 


There are 274,139 people living in Waltham Forest, that’s 3.2% of the 8.6 million Londoners.

The average age of the population is 34.9 years old, that’s 1 year younger than the London average. There are more children in the borough than pensioners. Children and young people under 16 make up 22% of the population compared to 10% for the over 65s.

People who are black, Asian or of minority ethnic origin, BAME, represent 50% of the residents. 36% of the people living in Waltham Forest were born abroad. The largest migrant group according to the last census is from Pakistan and makes up 5% of the population. The second largest group, based on the census is from Poland. More recently the largest number of migrants have come from Romania and Bulgaria.


The median house price in the borough is £320,000.   Those who rent outnumber owner occupiers with 21% owning their home outright and a further 29% with a mortgage compared to 30% who rent privately and a further 20% living in social housing rented from the council or a housing association.

The council tax on a Band D property (the mid-tier cost in most local authorities) is £1,447.


The crime rate in Waltham Forest is 78 crimes per 1,000 residents, which is lower than the London average of 84 .

The Area

Waltham Forest covers an area of 3,881 hectares compared to the biggest borough, Bromley, which covers more than 15,000. The smallest borough, not counting the City of London, is Kensington and Chelsea, which covers around 1,200 hectares.

Some 31% of the area is classified as green space. The average for London is 38%.


The employment rate in the Waltham Forest is below the national average with 73% of people in work. The median annual salary for men is £32,574 and for women it is lower at £25,661.  The median income for a household in the borough is £39,460.

The workforce is among the less qualified in London with 43% of workers who are educated to degree level or above. 12% have no qualifications and 3% of young people under 25 are listed as NEETS (that’s not in education, employment or training).


There are 76,217 cars in the borough, which equates to 0.8 cars per household.  Waltham Forest is rated as below average for public transport, based on an index compiled by Transport for London. According to Government data on physical activity, 12.8% of people cycle each month.

Health and Well-being

Men living in Waltham Forest can expect to live until they are 79, for women life expectancy is 84 years. The borough has a death rate from what are considered to be preventable causes of 185.3 per 100,000 people. The national rate for England is 182.

Other health indicators show that 6% of people over 17 suffer from diabetes and 22% of children are classified as obese.

When asked in a Government survey to rate their satisfaction with life the average score of people in the borough was 7.2 out of 10, which is below average for London.

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