Elderly bear the brunt of deprivation in the capital

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Photo: Kristo-Gothard Hunor ┃Shutterstock.com

Elderly people in London are being left behind in the fight against deprivation.

Over the past 5 years a number of boroughs that were among the most deprived local authorities in England have reduced multiple causes of deprivation in many neighbourhoods. Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Haringey have pulled themselves above the bottom 20 boroughs in England since 2010.

But in these districts and others in the capital thousands of older people are living in income deprived households.  This is a particular problem for London. Of the 10 boroughs in England with the highest level of over 60s living in income deprived households, 7 are in London including the 3 with the worst record, Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Newham.

Local authorities with the highest proportion of older people in income deprivation
1 Tower Hamlets 49.7%
2 Hackney 43.1%
3 Newham 41%
4 Manchester 36.3%
5 Islington 36.1%
6 Southwark 34.3%
7 Lambeth 33.2%
8 Liverpool 32.7%
9 Knowsley 32.6%
10 Haringey 31.8%

5 more are in the 20 most income deprived boroughs for older people – Brent, Barking and Dagenham, Hammersmith and Fulham, Camden and Lewisham.

In Tower Hamlets nearly half the old people are living in income deprived households. The borough also has the worst record on children in income deprived households with 39% of under 16s affected.  In 6 other boroughs (Islington, Hackney, Barking and Dagenham, Enfield, Lambeth and Southwark) at least 30% of children are living in income deprived households.

These figures are revealed in data gathered for the Department of Communities and Local Government for the Index on Multiple Deprivation – the government’s measure of levels of deprivation across England. The index looks at 7 areas – income, employment, education, health and disability, crime, housing and the living environment.

The government measures deprivation in small areas called LSOAs.  Each of these neighbourhoods has around 1,500 residents.  There are 32,844 of them in England and 4,835 in London.

275 of these neighbourhoods in London are among the 10% most deprived in England. London has done well in reducing deprivation over the past 5 years, but the borough map shows a clear divide with much higher levels of deprivation in the east.

Deprivation borough map

The most deprived neighbourhood in the capital, according to the index, is an area of Hackney to the south of Homerton High Street and west of Mabley Green.  This neighbourhood is home to 1,300 people.

Of the 5 most deprived neighbourhoods in London, 2 are in Hackney, 2 in Westminster and 1 in Islington. The least deprived neighbourhood, according to the index, is in Bromley.

Source data

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







Elderly show wealth divide – 75,000 not claiming pension, more rely on benefits

pensioner coupleNearly 75,000 elderly people in London are not claiming their state pension. That’s 7% of the people eligible and a unique London phenomenon as claimant rates elsewhere are 99 or 100% and only in the South East of England does it fall below that, to 98%.

The majority of non-claimants are in traditionally wealthy boroughs, which may suggest that they feel no need of the benefit or that an itinerant lifestyle means it is difficult for them to claim it.

Data from the Department of Work and Pensions shows that in the Kensington and Chelsea only three quarters of eligible over 65s are receiving their pension, in Westminster it is 77%, in Camden 80% and in the City of London 81%. Through most of central London the proportion is a little over 90%. Only the outer boroughs of Havering and Bromley have the national rate of 99%.

Pensioners recipients

While London has the highest level of pensioners who don’t receive a state pension, it also has the highest proportion in the country of pensioners receiving a pension credit.

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. 15% of OAPs across the UK receive a credit. In London it is nearly 20%.

See also

Younger workforce makes capital’s population pensioner poor

Welcome to the city of the super rich

The breakdown by borough underlines the divide between rich and poor across the capital, and some of the variation within boroughs. As the map above shows, Tower Hamlets has 9% of its pensioner not claiming a pension. But as the map below shows, it also has 40% on pension credits.

Pensioners credit

The borough includes some deprived areas but also the sparkling skyscrapers and riverside flats of Canary Wharf. In the neighbouring boroughs of Hackney and Newham 35% or more are receiving pension credit. In Richmond and the City of London it is under 10%.

Pension recipient data

Pension credit data