Borough Profile: Merton


There are 207,141 people living in Merton, that’s 2.4% of the 8.6 million Londoners.

The average age of the population is 36.6 years old, that’s 0.7 years older than the London average. The under 16s in the borough outnumber the over 65s. Children and young people under 16 make up 21% of the population compared to 12% for the over 65s.

People who are black, Asian or of minority ethnic origin, BAME, represent 37% of the residents. 41% of the people living in Merton were born abroad. The largest migrant group according to the last census is from Poland and makes up 4% of the population. The second largest group, based on the census is from Sri Lanka. More recently the largest number of migrants have come from Poland and Romania.


The median house price in the borough is £385,000.   Owner occupiers outnumber those who rent with 22% owning their home outright and a further 33% with a mortgage compared to 29% who rent privately and a further 16% 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 £1,401.


The crime rate in Merton is 60 crimes per 1,000 residents, which is lower than the London average of 84 and is among the lowest in the capital.

The Area

Merton covers an area of 3,763 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 35% of the area is classified as green space. The average for London is 38%.


The employment rate in the Merton is above the national average with 79% of people in work. The median annual salary for men is £36,765 and for women it is lower at £30,290.  The median income for a household in the borough is £57,160.

The workforce is among the highest qualified in London with 58% of workers who are educated to degree level or above. 5% have no qualifications and 4% of young people under 25 are listed as NEETS (that’s not in education, employment or training).


There are 72,777 cars in the borough, which equates to 0.9 cars per household.  Merton is rated as below average for public transport, based on an index compiled by Transport for London. According to Government data on physical activity, 19.4% of people cycle each month.

Health and Well-being

Men living in Merton 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 161.8 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 7.3 out of 10, which is below average for London.

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

The number of people with diabetes in Bromley will rise by 7,319 in the next 20 years. While the borough will continue to have one of the lowest rates in London, the extra numbers will place huge pressure on local health services, according to Public Health England.

There are currently 21,690 sufferers in the borough, up by 254 on last year. Some 8.3% of all the people living in Bromley 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 8.4% and in 2035 will hit 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 3.2% of them will live in Bromley .

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.

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