A third of 10 and 11-year-olds obese in two areas of London

shutterstock_291654485-2London’s record on childhood obesity has been poor and getting worst for some time. But data for small areas released by Public Health England raise new levels of concern as in two neigbbourhoods a third of the 10 and 11-year old children are now obese.

In the electoral ward of Camberwell Green, Southwark 34% of Year 6 children are obese. In Hoxton West in Hackney its 33%.  Only one other area of England has a higher level – 35% in Sutton-on-Sea in Lincolnshire.

The Public Health England data covers nearly 7,500 electoral wards in England and it shows that six of the ten worst areas for childhood obesity among Year 6 children are in London.

Obesity Year 6 wards-2

It’s a similar pattern for children in Reception, aged 4 and 5, where Woodberry Down ward in Hackney has the worst record in the country and a rate that is double the England average. Six other neighbourhoods in the capital are also among the worst ten in England for this age group.

Obesity reception ward-2

This small area data is gathered by Public Health England to help target resources to combat child weight problems.

The poor record on obesity for primary school children is reflected more broadly at borough level and underlines that London has one of the most severe problems in the country.

At Reception age,  six of the ten local authorities with the highest rates are in London.  The highest level local authority average rate in the England is nearly 14% in Barking and Dagenham. Greenwich, Newham, Hackney, Southwark and Tower Hamlets all have rates of 12% or above.

The obesity rates in these boroughs doubles for Year 6 children. Enfield and Westminster also have more than a quarter of Year 6 children classified as obese.  Eight of the ten local authorities in England with the highest obesity rates for 10 and 11-year olds are in London.

Source data

See also

How the obesity rate doubled for the class of 2007

Childhood obesity highest in London

Thousands of children sent to hospital because of tooth decay

 

How well qualified are people in your borough?

exam roomParts of East London are seeing a massive rise in the proportion of people with degree-level qualifications.

Since 2004 the proportion of working-age people who are graduates or have a similar level of qualification has nearly trebled in Newham.  In Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Bexley it has gone up by more than 130%.

Despite the recent increases these boroughs still have some of the lowest levels of people educated to what is called NVQ4+ level. This includes bachelor and post-graduate degrees, HNC, HND, BTEC higher level and some professional qualifications, such as nursing and accountancy.

Qualification map

Havering has the lowest level in the capital with 28% while in inner London boroughs at least half the working-age population has reached this level of education.

In the City of London 88% of people are graduates or the equivalent. In the wealthy south west areas of Wandsworth and Richmond it is more than 70%.

London has a better qualified workforce than any other region of the UK.  In London, 52% of people have been educated to NVQ4+ level compared to 38% for England as a whole.  Just 7% of Londoners have no academic or professional qualifications.

Source data

See Also

The city’s workforce: best qualified in the UK and getting smarter

Far more 16-year-olds staying in school in London than across the UK

 

Growing diabetes problem in Barking and Dagenham will place strain on NHS

Barking and Dagenham will be home to an additional 6,143 diabetes sufferers in the next 20 years, placing huge pressure on local health services, according to Public Health England.

There are currently 13,838 sufferers in the area up by 207 on last year. Some 9.2% of all the people living in Barking and Dagenham have the condition, which is above the national rate of 8.6%. But forecasts by PHE, a government agency, show that by 2020 the rate will have gone up to 9.3% and in 2035 will hit 10%.

Diabetes 2035

The agency based its predictions on health surveys carried out over three years and focused on people over the age of 16. PHE says that around 90% of the new cases will be Type 2 diabetes, which is caused by lifestyle factors and linked to obesity. It says these cases are preventable and tackling the problem is fundamental to the future of the health service.

The increased prevalence of the condition coincides with a rise in the population of the capital in the coming decades. There will be 895,489 diabetes sufferers across London’s 33 boroughs by 2035, and 2.2% of them will live in Barking and Dagenham.

Diabetes is caused by the inability of the body to regulate the amount of sugar in the blood. It is associated with an increased risk of stroke and heart attack. Sufferers may also develop kidney disease and foot ulcers, which can lead to amputation.

Source data

More diabetes stories

 

 

Drug deaths hit their highest level for 15 years

heroin

The number of people killed by drug abuse in London is at its highest level this century.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that 298 people died due to misuse of illegal substances in 2015, the highest number since 1999. It is also the highest death rate since the late 90s – 35 per million residents.

The rate of drug deaths has been increasing since 2012 after a downward trend this century from high points in the late 90s.  But although it has risen, the capital still has the second lowest mortality rate of all the regions in England and Wales. Only the East Midlands has a lower rate than London. The highest death rates are now in the North East, North West, Wales, and Yorkshire and Humberside.

Drug death rate regions-2

This is a turnaround from 1993, when the current data record begins.  London had the highest mortality rate and accounted for 23% of all deaths.  In 2015 that had halved to 12% of deaths as the problem of illegal drug misuse has become more widespread.

Drug death comparison-2

Across London, Haringey and central areas of Westminster, Lambeth, Southwark Camden, Islington and Tower Hamlets have that most serious problems.  The data at borough level is gathered for three-year periods due to very low numbers in some areas.  From 2013 to 2015, 43 people died in Haringey and 42 in both Westminster and Lambeth.

map drug deeaths 2015-2

There were fewer than 20 deaths in the period in most of the outlying boroughs, and in Merton, Barking and Dagenham and among the small population of the City of London the number of deaths was in single figures.

Source data

See also

Low drug-related death rates hide middle-aged heroin problem

Teenage survey finds that Richmond has highest level of cannabis use

Violence, disruption and drugs – why 20,000 pupils were excluded from school last year

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ratio reveals the most affordable place to buy a home

terrace on hil-2The most affordable borough to buy a home in London is Barking and Dagenham.  A house in this area in the east of London costs a fraction more than seven times local annual earnings.

Barking and Dagenham is the only borough in London with a ratio that is below the average for England. Across England the median house price is 7.49 times the salary for a full time job.

The ratio is calculated by the Department of Communities and Local Government using median house prices rather than the average to avoid distortion due to highs and lows.  These are then compared to median wages locally.

According to this calculation the most affordable boroughs other than Barking and Dagenham are mostly in Outer London.   The median house price is less than 10 times salary in Bexley, Havering, Croydon and Hounslow, and in the Inner London borough of Tower Hamlets.

The least affordable places are central and west London boroughs including Wandsworth, Richmond, Camden, Hammersmith and Fulham and Westminster. But at the top of the scale is Kensington and Chelsea, where the median house price was nearly 40 times the median salary in 2015.

Since the start of the century the ratio in the royal borough has gone up by 178%.  And a similar dramatic change, from lower levels, has happened in Hackney and Waltham Forest, where the ratio has gone from around five times salary to 15 and 13 respectively since 2000.

The change from 2014 to 2015, the most recent years recorded, was highest in Redbridge where the ratio changed by 17% from a little over 10 times salary to just over 12.

In Kensington and Chelsea, the ratio actually fell by 6%, and in Westminster it came down by 1%.

Median House Price to Earnings Ratio 2015
Kensington and Chelsea 39.67
Westminster 24.16
Hammersmith and Fulham 22.33
Camden 19.46
Richmond upon Thames 18.07
Wandsworth 17.68
City of London 17.11
Islington 16.32
Hackney 15.23
Harrow 14.71
Barnet 14.28
Merton 14.27
Ealing 14.25
Haringey 14.11
Kingston upon Thames 13.83
Brent 13.67
Lambeth 13.08
Waltham Forest 13.02
Southwark 12.85
Bromley 12.42
Redbridge 12.21
Enfield 11.64
Lewisham 11.15
Sutton 10.90
Greenwich 10.75
Hillingdon 10.29
Newham 10.12
Hounslow 9.88
Croydon 9.83
Havering 9.78
Bexley 9.41
Tower Hamlets 9.00
Barking and Dagenham 7.19

Source data

See also

More “affordable” homes but the rents prove unaffordable for many

The homes affordability crisis

The Housing Shortage

 

 

EU Referendum: The country has spoken but the capital disagrees

Big Ben cloudsLondon bucked the national trend and voted 60/40 in favour of remaining in the EU. 27 of the 33 boroughs voted to remain, and in some central areas the vote to stay in the EU was much higher – 79% in Lambeth, 78% in Hackney and 76% in Haringey.

London is part of a small club that includes Scotland and Northern Ireland as the nations and regions of the country that voted to stay in. But with a UK-wide vote 52% in favour of leaving it will have no impact.

Central London boroughs are the most determinedly pro-EU areas in the country.  The vote to Remain was  75% or over in seven boroughs – Haringey, Islington, Camden, Hackney, City of London, Lambeth and Wandsworth. This level of support is only matched by the 74% in Edinburgh and East Renfrewshire in Scotland, 74% in West Belfast and 78% in Foyle in Northern Ireland. But the Remain win in a few areas was much narrower – just 51% in Bromley and Hounslow.

Remain share-2

Five boroughs voted Leave – Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Havering, Sutton and Hillingdon.  The winning margin in these areas was not as emphatic as the mostly staunchly Remain boroughs but Leave won 70% of the vote in Havering, 63% in Bexley and 62% in Barking and Dagenham.

Leave share-2

The vote shows how the EU argument went across the traditional political divide. Bexley is traditional Conservative territory while Sutton has a Conservative member of parliament  and one of the few Liberal Democrat MPs.  Barking and Dagenham is Labour territory with influential party figures Margaret Hodge and Jon Cruddas as its MPs.

Hillingdon includes the constituency of the former Mayor and Leave camp leader, Boris Johnson.  But it also includes the area that since 1997 has chosen as its MP the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnel, a key ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Turnout in London was 69.7%, a little below the national level of 72.2%, with 3.77 million people voting. 2.26 million voted Remain, 1.51 million voted Leave. 1.64 million Londoners failed to vote.

Turnout EU-2

The highest turnout was 82% in Richmond, the lowest, 59% in Newham.  Turnout was above 70% in 15 boroughs and above 75% in 6, including three that voted Leave – Bexley, Havering and Sutton and three that voted Remain – Bromley, Kingston and Richmond.

EU Referendum: London results
REMAIN LEAVE
Barking and Dagenham 27,270 (38%) 46,130 (62%)
Barnet 100,210 (62%) 60,823 (38%)
Bexley 47,603 (37%) 80,886 (63%)
Brent 72,523 (62%) 48,881 (48%)
Bromley 92,398 (51%) 90,034 (49%)
Camden 71,295 (75%) 23,838 (25%)
City of London 3,312 (75%) 1.087 (25%)
Croydon 92,913 (54%) 78,221 (46%)
Ealing 90,024 (60%) 59,017 (40%)
Enfield 76,425 (56%) 60,481 (44%)
Greenwich 65,248 (56%) 52,117 (44%)
Hackney 83,398 (78%) 22,868 (22%)
Hammersmith and Fulham 56,188 (70%) 24,054 (30%)
Haringey 79,991 (76%) 25,855 (24%)
Harrow 64,042 (55%) 53,183 (45%)
Havering 42,201 (30%) 96,885 (70%)
Hillingdon 58,040 (44%) 74,982 (56%)
Hounslow 58,755 51% 56,321 (49%)
Islington 76,420 (75%) 25,180 (25%)
Kensington and Chelsea 37,601 (69%) 17,138 (31%)
Kingston 52,533 (62%) 32,737 (38%)
Lambeth 111,584 (79%) 30,340 (21%)
Lewisham 86,955 (70%) 37,518 (30%)
Merton 63,003 (63% 37097 (37%)
Newham 55,328 (53%) 49,371 (47%)
Redbridge 69,213 (54%) 59.020 (46%)
Richmond 75,396 (70%) 33,410 (30%)
Southwark 94,293 (73%) 35,209 (27%)
Sutton 49,319 (46%) 57,241 (54%)
Tower Hamlets 73,011 (68%) 35,224 (32%)
Waltham Forest 64,156 (59%) 44,395 (41%)
Wandsworth 118,463 (75%) 39,421 (25%)
Westminster 53,928 (69%) 24,268 (31%)

Source data

See also

A tenth of Londoners won’t get a vote but may feel the impact of the EU referendum

Left turn – the election shows further shift in the way the capital votes

Mayoral Election Issues: The homes affordability crisis

Flats Tom Gowanlockshutterstock_134424665-1-2-1-2-2

Photo: Tom Gowan ┃Shutterstock

London may like to see itself as a forward looking and progressive city but when it comes to property it is heading back to the 70s. Owning your own home is a long-held aspiration for millions of people that was realised in the property booms of the 80s and 90s, assisted by the Right to Buy scheme where tenants were allowed to purchase their council-provided property.

But the data on property tenure across London reveals that trend is being rapidly reversed and the pattern of ownership, private rental, and social housing now resemble London in the 70s.

After climbing to its peak in the 90s owner-occupation had fallen to 50% by 2011.   For the majority of younger Londoners, buying a home is no longer an option and those in their 30s appear resigned to belonging to what has been labelled “generation rent”.  In 1990 nearly 60% of people aged 25-34 owned their own home, by the end of 2014 that had dropped to 26%[1].

For those under 25 the picture is even starker.  Just 6% of this age group own their own property. In 1990 it was nearly a quarter of them.

The data shows that the only group where home ownership is climbing is the over 65s.  These people mostly own their own home outright, having paid off their mortgage.

Property ownership by age

The proportion of homes owned outright now exceeds those owned with a mortgage across England and Wales according to the English Housing Survey carried out by the Department for Communities and Local Government[2].  According to the figures collected in 2014/15, 33% of homes in England are mortgage free compared to 30% households that are still paying the mortgage.  61% of those who own their home outright are over 65.  London is the only place where this tipping point is yet to be reached and mortgaged homes (27%) still outnumber wholly owned ones (23%), but the gap is closing as the number of properties owned with mortgage falls.

The problem for young Londoners seeking a mortgage is not just one of meeting the monthly payments but in raising the funds in the first place.  The median property price in the capital is now 11 times average earnings, compared to 7 times across England.

The price to earnings ratio is at the national average in Barking but in Wandsworth it is 17 times earnings, in Hackney nearly 15 and in Kensington and Chelsea 38 times earnings[3].

house to earnings map

This situation is worsening more rapidly in London than elsewhere in the UK.  In 1997 the median house cost 4 times the median salary. That ratio has since more than doubled across the country, but nearly tripled in London.

The reduction in home ownership in London, particularly for under 35s has fuelled the growth in the private rental sector.  The most recent English Housing Survey revealed that 1 in 4 of the private rented houses in England are in the capital and the private rented sector increased from 14% to 30% in the 10 years between 2004 and 2014-15[4].

As the population of the capital grows, demand is outstripping supply and the affordability of rent has become a problem for people who were already priced out of the ability to buy a property.

For these people, rent takes up a very large proportion of their income. The English Housing Survey revealed that London households were paying 72% of their gross income in rent. This was reduced to 60% when housing benefit was included. By comparison, rent accounts for 52% of income for households across England.

The plight for young people under 24 was worse. The survey found that they were handing over 88% of their income in housing costs when benefits are excluded.

The latest data from the Valuation Agency Office[5], a body that advises the government on property prices, shows the high level of London premiums in the private rental sector.

We looked at median prices to iron out the highs and lows that affect averages.  The proportion of the price difference between London and the rest of England is biggest for 2 and 3 bedroom houses – the types of property that families need.

Median monthly rental
London England
Room only £550 £350
Studio £875 £500
1 Bedroom £1,200 £540
2 Bedroom £1,450 £595
3 Bedroom £1,750 £695
4+ Bedroom £2,700 £1,200

Across London there are distinct variations with the highest median rate for all properties in Westminster, and only 4 boroughs – Sutton, Havering, Barking and Dagenham and Bexley, where it is below £1,000.

Rental all prop map

The rise in rents seems relentless. Data from the ONS’s Index of Private Housing Rental Prices, a quarterly index that tracks the prices paid for renting from private landlords shows a 4% rise in Feb 2016[6] compared to the same period last year. Over a 10-year period prices in London have risen by 35% compared to 17% for the rest of England.

Faced with high costs in the private sector there has been a growing demand for Londoners for rental property at an affordable price.  Previously this fell into the category of social housing – property provided by a council or a housing association with long, secure tenancies and rents at around 50% of the market rates.

In 2010 the government introduced a new category, which it confusingly called Affordable Rent.  This aimed to give social landlords a route to maintaining or increasing the amount of lower cost rental while relying less on public funding. It allows them to charge more and have less restrictive tenancies.  Affordable Rent properties can charge up to 80% of the market rate.

The problem for London is that for many, Affordable Rents are not affordable.  Let’s look at the numbers if we apply the social and affordable rent rules to the median monthly market rates we saw above from the VOA.

Market Rate Affordable Rent (80%) Social Rent (50%)
1 Bedroom £1,155 £924 £577.50
2 Bedroom £1,400 £1,120 £700
3 Bedroom £1,695 £1,356 £847.50
4 Bedroom + £2,500 £2,000 £1,250

A family that needs a 3 or 4-bedroom house would require a substantial income to afford an Affordable Rent and in many areas of central London the cost will be much higher.

Some families may be able to claim Housing Benefit to bridge the gap but the Benefit Cap introduced in 2013 means that the total claim for all benefits for a family is £500 a week – the amount needed just for rent of a 4-bedroom house in these calculations.

Increasing the supply of housing is one key to solving the affordability crisis. All mayoral candidates in the election are promising to do this but after years in which house-building failed to keep pace with demand this will be a mammoth task.

See also

Mayoral Election Issues: The Housing Shortage

Source data

[1] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/housing-london

[2]https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/501065/EHS_Headline_report_2014-15.pdf

[3] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/ratio-house-prices-earnings-borough/resource/122ea18a-cb44-466e-a314-e0c62a32529e

[4]https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/501065/EHS_Headline_report_2014-15.pdf

[6] http://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices/bulletins/indexofprivatehousingrentalprices/february2016

This report was produced in association with London Live’s special election programme, London Votes.

Sportiest Londoners live in the wealthier south west boroughs

running woman-2People living in south west London are the sportiest in the city with a far higher proportion taking part in regular physical activity.

More than a quarter of the residents of Wandsworth do some form of sporting activity three times per week or more, according to survey data from Sport England.  But across London, in Newham and Barking and Dagenham, it is half that. And in Brent just 12% of people are doing that level of activity.

The south west corner of London has 4 boroughs, apart from Wandsworth, with large proportions of sporty people.  The data for Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, Richmond and Merton shows about a quarter of people doing 3 sessions per week.

But in Bexley and Greenwich it is just 15%. It’s 14% in Newham and Barking and Dagenham. Across the other side of the city, in the north west, it is 15% in Ealing, 13% in Hillingdon, but with 12% Brent has the lowest rate of people doing regular exercise.

sport particpation map

South west London is generally a more affluent area than other parts of the capital but the reason why people there are more active in sports is not clear. These boroughs also have low levels of obesity, while the proportion of people with severe weight problems is much higher in boroughs such as Hillingdon, Barking and Dagenham and Bexley, as previoulsy reported by Urbs.

The data gathered by Sport England through the Active People Survey also reveals that as a region London has the highest average rate for people doing 3 sessions or more of exercise.

Sport participation regional

The current rate of 18.3% is up from 17.2% 10 years ago.  While this growth has been modest the proportion of people doing no exercise has also seen little change, and remains stubbornly high. Across the capital 52% of the population does no sporting activity.  But in Newham it is 62% and in Barking and Dagenham it is 64%.

For these people, getting off the coach to take part in sport 3 times a week may be a very tall order.  A more modest achievement may be to find a way to get them to join the 38% of Londoners who take part in sport once a week.

Source data

See also

Sporty Londoners prefer solo exercise

Size matters – and it depends where you live

The way we spend our cash – more rent, less alcohol, healthier eating

Health and wealth – an East/West divide when it comes to a flu jab

 

 

Far more 16-year-olds staying in school in London than across the UK

students hands up-2Far more young people are staying on in full-time education in London than elsewhere in the country.  Nearly half as many leave school at 16, 22% compared to 40% nationally.

London also has the highest rate of people entering further education after school age, with a third of people studying full time until they are 20 -23.

Leaving age London v UK

This trend for more time in education has been developing over a number of years in both London and the UK and is captured in data gathered by the Office for National Statistics through its Annual Population Survey.  The latest breakdown of these figures at borough level is for 2014 and it shows a wide discrepancy in the age of leaving education across the capital.

Nearly half the young people in Havering and 40% in Bexley leave education at 16.  School leaver rates are also high in Barking and Dagenham, and Enfield.  In comparison, the boroughs in the west of the city have large proportions staying in education. Just 9% in Richmond leave school at 16, 11% in Westminster, 12% in Kensington and Chelsea, and 13% in Wandsworth, and Hammersmith and Fulham.Leaving age boroughsWhen these numbers are combined with those leaving full time education at 19 three quarters of people are out of education in Havering by that age and 60% or more in Enfield, Sutton, Barking and Dagenham, and Bexley.

But in Wandsworth, Camden, Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Westminster fewer than a third have left education.

This inner-outer, east-west divide is also evident in those staying in education until aged 24 and over.  In Kensington and Chelsea 22% are in education until this age and it’s nearly 20% I Hammersmith and Fulham, and Westminster.  But Havering has just 4% of people coming out of education at 24 and over, with 5% in Bexley and Enfield.

The data also reveals that some of London’s 16-69 year-old have never been in full-time education. In Tower Hamlets, Newham and Waltham Forest it is an estimated 3% of the adult population under 70.

Source data

See also

Fight for reception gets tougher as more kids swell primary school demand

105,000 extra secondary pupils pose huge challenge for capital’s schools

Where are all the young people? The in-out flow of 20-something Londoners

 

 

Teenage survey finds that Richmond has highest level of cannabis use

spliff-2The affluent borough of Richmond has the highest level of young people smoking cannabis in London.

A national survey of 15-year-olds found that 19% living in Richmond had tried the drug.  This is the second highest rate in England – the highest is 24% in Brighton.

Across London, 27% of 15-year-olds say that they have been offered cannabis, in line with the national rate.  A little over 1 in 10 say that they have tried smoking the drug but rates are higher in 13 boroughs.

Richmond stands out as having the highest rates, and as reported by Urbs, also has the highest proportion of teenagers drinking alcohol and getting drunk. 16% of 15 year-olds in Lambeth and Islington say they have tried cannabis, with 15% in Camden, Haringey, Lewisham and Wandsworth.

Cannabis map

Rates are much lower in the east of the capital. Just 6% in Tower Hamlets and Redbridge, 7% in Newham and 8% in Barking and Dagenham, and Havering.

The data from the What About YOUth survey reveals that young people from a mixed ethnic background are most likely to have been offered and tried cannabis.  Those from Asian backgrounds are least likely.  93% say they have never smoked the drug, according to the survey, compared to 89% of all 15-year-olds.

Richmond also has the highest rates for teenagers who say they have smoked cannabis in the last year (17%) and in the last month (8.5%).

The survey offered little evidence of a link between cannabis and other drugs. Just 3% of 15-year-olds in London say that they have tried other drugs, though rates are between 5-6% in Bromley, Haringey and Camden.

Source data

See also

Kensington teenage girls have the most negative body image in England

Teens saying no to booze, but Richmond tops list for 15-year-olds getting drunk

Low drug-related death rates hide middle-aged heroin problem