Areas where pensioners most likely to be lonely identified

Elderly lady lonely Marlindeshutterstock_249281500-1

Photo: Marlinde ┃

The loneliest pensioners in London are likely to be living in a neighbourhood of Newham along the A1020 Royal Docks Road, between City Airport and the River Roding, where it runs into the Thames.

This finding emerges from data modelling by the charity Age UK in its effort to identify areas where there is a high likelihood of loneliness for over 65s, based upon a number of social and personal factors.

The area is known as MSOA Newham 033. An MSOA is an area with a population between 5,000 and 15,000 used for statistical analysis by the Government. Newham 033 is home to the Galleons Reach Shopping Park but also boasts the Beckton Sewage Treatment works among its charms.

It has 7,680 residents, according to the most recent population estimates, and around 5% of them are over 65. This includes 104 between 65-69, 160 in their 70s, 77 in their 80s and 21 who are over 90.

The charity used data from the census and a survey of the elderly to look at factors such as whether a person was widowed, living alone, or in poor health; all things that may result in them being more isolated. It used these factors to build an index.

When the index is applied a little more widely, at a borough level, Newham still scores poorly but Tower Hamlets and Hackney both come out worst. In the map below the areas with the darker colours and higher numbers indicate the higher probability of  loneliness, according to Age UK estimates.

Lonely pensioners-2

Boroughs in the East of the capital have the poorest scores while areas in south London are less likely to have lonely pensioners, according to the index.

5 London boroughs, Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Newham, Barking and Dagenham and Islington, are among the 10 local authorities in England and Wales with the highest prevalence of loneliness, according to the Age UK calculation.

The charity says that more than a million older people across the country say that they go for a month without speaking to family, friends or neighbours. They are calling for Government help and for communities, families and individuals to do more to tackle the issue.

Source data

See also

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Younger workforce makes capital’s population pensioner poor


98,000 not claiming their pension in a tale of two Londons


Photo: Lasse Kristensen ┃

The number of elderly people who do not claim their state pension has risen to nearly 98,000. That is 9% of those eligible, and it has increased since the end of last year.

The proportion of eligible OAPs claiming the pension fell across the country from 99% in November 2014 to 97% in May 2015. And these latest figures show that in London it is now down to just 91% from 93% in the same period.

This highest level of non-claimants is in the traditionally wealthy central boroughs, which may suggest that they feel that they have sufficient money so do not need the state pension.

Data from the Department of Work and Pensions shows that in the Kensington and Chelsea and in Westminster fewer than three quarters of eligible over 65s are receiving their state pension. The claim rate is below 80% in two other areas, Camden and the City of London.

Pension recipients

But the rate of pension recipients has fallen across the capital. The only boroughs with the same proportion as the national rate are the outer areas of Havering, Bexley and Bromley.

Pensions data underlines a tale of two Londons. The city may have the highest level of pensioners not claiming their entitlement, but it also has the highest rate in Great Britain of pensioners who are getting additional support through pension credits.

Pension credits are paid to those who have very low income, and as a reward to those who have modest savings or a small private pension to supplement their state income.

The latest data from the Department for Work and Pensions shows that 14% of over 60s across Britain receive a credit. That’s down 1% on last November. The rate has fallen by a similar proportion in London as well, but it is still at nearly 19%. The North East is the closest to London, but rates are significantly lower in all other regions.

The highest rate of pension credit claimants is in Tower Hamlets where 38.5% of over 60s are getting this support. Yet Tower Hamlets has the fifth lowest rate of pension recipients in the capital with 14% not claiming. This perhaps demonstrates the gap between rich and poor in the borough that contains both deprived areas and the wealth of Canary Wharf.

Pension credit claimants

Other boroughs with high rates of pension credit claims are Hackney with 35% and Newham with 33%. Only Richmond and the City of London have lower than 10%.

Pension recipient data

Pension credit data

See also

Younger workforce makes capital’s population pensioner poor

More than half a million Londoners have never used the internet

Women in London will live longer than anywhere in the UK