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

 

Borough Profile: Bexley 

People

There are 243,303 people living in Bexley, that’s 2.8% of the 8.6 million Londoners.

The average age of the population is 38.9 years old, that’s 3 years older than the London average. There are more children in the borough than pensioners. Children and young people under 16 make up 21% of the population compared to 11% for the over 65s.

People who are black, Asian or of minority ethnic origin, BAME, represent 21% of the residents. 16% of the people living in Bexley were born abroad. The largest migrant group according to the last census is from Nigeria and makes up 3% of the population. The second largest group, based on the census is from India. More recently the largest number of migrants have come from Romania and Nigeria.

Housing

The median house price in the borough is £250,000.   Owner occupiers outnumber those who rent with 38% owning their home outright and a further 35% with a mortgage compared to 11% who rent privately and a further 15% 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 £1,446.

Crime

crime rate in Bexley is 52 crimes per 1,000 residents which is lower than the London average of 84 and is among the lowest in the capital.

The Area

Bexley covers an area of 6,058 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 32% of the area is classified as green space. The average for London is 38%.

Work

The employment rate in the Bexley is above the national average with 75% of people in work. The median annual salary for men is £35,729 and for women it is lower at £25,821.  The median income for a household in the borough is £44,430.

The workforce is among the less qualified in London with 34% of workers who are educated to degree level or above. 11% have no qualifications and 3% of young people under 25 are listed as NEETS (that’s not in education, employment or training).

Transport

There are 108,507 cars in the borough, which equates to 1.2 cars per household.  Bexley is rated as below average for public transport, based on an index compiled by Transport for London. According to Government data on physical activity, 9.2% of people cycle each month.

Health and Well-being

Men living in Bexley can expect to live until they are 80, for women life expectancy is 84 years. The borough has a death rate from what are considered to be preventable causes of 164.3 per 100,000 people. The national rate for England is 182.

Other health indicators show that 7% of people over 17 suffer from diabetes and 21% 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 7.4 out of 10, which is above average for London.

See other borough profiles

Source Data

Might Brexit reverse a fall in new citizens?

The number of new Londoners taking their final step to British citizenship has fallen to its lowest level since 2004.

Figures from the Home Office show that in 2015 some 37,118 adults attended a formal citizenship ceremony where they took an oath or affirmation of allegiance and received their certificate of citizenship.  This is the lowest number since the ceremonies were first introduced in 2004 as the final and compulsory stage of the citizenship process.

Once a citizenship application is granted the Home Office sends out an invitation letter and an individual must attend a ceremony within three months.

The number attending in London has fallen by more than 7,000 on 2014 and is down by 43% from a highpoint in 2009, when more than 65,000 people attended ceremonies.

The ceremonies are organised by local authorities and were introduced by the government to foster the idea that gaining citizenship was an event to be celebrated rather than simply a bureaucratic process.  Other countries including the USA, Canada and Australia do the same.

The first ever ceremony was carried out in Brent.  Last year 1,885 people attended events there, the highest number in London, closely followed by Newham and Hounslow.

The lowest number of new citizens proclaiming their allegiance to Queen and country were in the boroughs of Richmond, Kingston and Bexley. The small resident population of the City of London welcomed 17 new members to its community in 2015.

Citizenship London Map-2

The fall in London is reflected across the country.  The number of citizenship ceremonies peaked nationally in 2013 but have fallen back in the past two years

Citizenship since 2004

London retains its position for welcoming the bulk of new Britons.  Since 2004 around half of the ceremonies for the whole country took place in the capital.  Last year it was 45% and 16 of the London boroughs each had more ceremonies than the whole of Wales.

Citizenship regional

The latest data from the Home Office for the number of applications granted, the stage ahead of the final ceremony, show that numbers may be going up.  The national figures for the 12 months up to the end of June, which includes the period running up to the Brexit referendum, show that 40,000 more people gained British citizenship than in the 12 months to June 2015.

The figures do not show what impact this upturn has on London, but given the large proportion of applicants who make their home in the capital the numbers suggest that 2016 will see a rising number of ceremonies and new citizens after the drop in 2015.

Source data

See also

Our multi-lingual city – English second language for half of primary pupils

London is more diverse than the UN or Fifa

London’s unique language landscape where 26% don’t speak English at home

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

 

Bexley has one of the lowest diabetes rates in capital but the problem is growing

Bexley has one of the lowest rates of diabetes in London but the number of sufferers will go up by 4,915 in the next 20 years, placing pressure on local health services, according to Public Health England.

There are currently 16,015 people with diabetes in the borough, up by 180 on last year. Some 8.3% of all the people living in Bexley have the condition, which is below the national rate of 8.6%. But forecasts by PHE, a government agency, show that by 2020 the rate will have gone up to 8.3% and in 2035 will hit 8.9%.

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 2.3% of them will live in Bexley .

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

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

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

look left-2The election of Sadiq Khan as Mayor of London proved some general truths about the way London votes but also suggests that as the city grows it will lean more to the left.

On the political map of Britain, London has long been an island of Labour red in a South East sea of Conservative blue.  London has traditionally been Labour at its centre and Tory on its fringes.

The mayoral elections underlined that pattern, with some significant additional wins for Sadiq Khan in previously Conservative ground of Merton and Wandsworth, and Ealing and Hillingdon.

The other significant change is the increase in Labour support in the central areas that have seen the fastest population rise.  The constituency of City and East is a good example.  It contains Tower Hamlets and Newham, the boroughs forecast to grow fastest in the coming decade. In these areas Sadiq Khan achieved 60% of first preference votes and the greater population and high turnout delivered nearly 20,000 more Labour voters than in 2012.

It was a similar story in the North East constituency which covers Islington, Hackney and Waltham Forest. Khan again achieved a 60% share and added 36,000 votes on 2012.

Zac Goldsmiths best performance was in the Bexley and Bromley.  He out-polled Sadiq Khan here by two votes to one, but his number of votes was down on Boris Johnson’s haul in 2012 and his share was 51% compared to 62% for the Conservatives four years ago.

In Havering and Redbridge, and his home South West constituency, which includes Richmond, Hounslow and Kingston, he increased the number of votes, but not in Croydon and Sutton or the West Central constituency covering Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, and Hammersmith and Fulham.

In all 5 areas won by the Goldsmith, the Conservative share of the vote was down on 2012.  This might be attributed to the success of Boris Johnson as a larger-than-life character who worked across traditional party loyalties. Many, including leading Conservatives, have criticised the Goldsmith campaign, with its attacks on Khan, as negative and off putting for voters.

But the voting patterns indicate something more than personality politics and suggest an underlying sentiment.  A breakdown of all first preference votes into blocks representing broad party positions shows that parties of the left out-performed the parties of the right.

London's political balance-2

And the second preference votes also tell a story.  In the final run off Khan and Goldsmith were awarded the second preference votes of all the other candidates. Khan won convincingly here.  But we can also see from the data how the second preferences of Khan and Goldsmith voters would have been deployed if either had not made the final round. A quarter of Goldsmith voters marked Khan as their second preference.  Only 14% of Khan voters put a second cross next to Goldsmith. The main beneficiary of second votes were the Greens, who sit on the left.

After two terms of a Tory mayor the capital has a Labour politician as leader again.  The city population is forecast to be over 9 million by the time he is up for re-election.  The evidence from this election is that a growing number of people is central London is good news for Labour and Sadiq Khan.

Source data

See also

How London’s population boom helped Sadiq Khan to victory

Election Issues: Balancing economic success with green ambitions

A last verdict on Boris shows satisfaction at its lowest ever level

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.

Is this the beginning of the end of the council house?

Council Housing Thamesmead-2London is soon to pass a housing landmark – the amount of social housing provided by the private sector is about to overtake the number provided by councils.

There are currently 799,400 households in social housing across the capital. That’s 23% of all households, and the rate has been fairly stable for the past 7 years, falling very gradually from 24.6% in 2009. During the same period the demand has increased from a growing population, and there are more families living in social housing in London now than there were in 2009.

What has been changing more dramatically is the ownership structure. 20 years ago town halls owned 3 times the number of homes as housing associations in the social housing sector.  The latest figures on housing stock for 2015 show that they are now near parity and the trend suggests that the majority of homes will be owned by private providers this year.

Social housing chart

Council-owned housing stock has been in decline since the 1980s when the government of Margaret Thatcher introduced the Right To Buy scheme to enable tenants to buy their council property.

Housing associations have been building at a faster rate than council have been replenishing their stocks and some councils have transferred their homes to these private providers.

A number of London boroughs have done this.  Richmond owns no housing.  Bexley, Bromley and Merton have also transferred their social housing stock to private registered  landlords, although all have a very small number of homes still listed under their ownership.

In contrast, the borough of Southwark owns 36,687 homes, the largest number in London.

Council housing stock

As many people struggle to find a suitable place to live the demand for social housing remains strong.  More than a quarter of a million households are on housing waiting lists held by local authorities.  The number has gone up by 3% since last year to 263,491, the first rise in 10 years.

All local authorities have a register of people who are seeking social housing, which offers much lower rent and secure tenancies.  The criteria councils use to decide whether someone is eligible for a place on the register have changed since 2011 when they were given greater freedom to manage the lists.  This has contributed to the reduced number of people on the lists, until last year’s rise, according to the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Most councils warn people seeking a place on the register that with limited numbers of houses and few becoming available each year they are likely to have to wait a long time for a property, if they qualify to receive one at all.

Whether they are hoping for a council house or social housing from a housing association, their chances are limited. The social rent sector is under pressure.  Out of more than 17,000 new “affordable” homes built in London last year only 3,000 were for social rental, as reported by Urbs.

This means that many people on lower earnings will continue to seek an affordable option in the private rental market.  Rental price increases in recent years have made this a real struggle, as reported here, which is why it has become one of the key battlegrounds in the forthcoming elections for Mayor.

Source data

See also

Social housing rental defies location-driven pricing of private sector

Families face the biggest premiums for renting homes in the capital

Paying the rent takes up 72% of income for private tenants

 

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