Borough Profile: Sutton 

People

There are 201,751 people living in Sutton, that’s 2.3% of the 8.6 million Londoners.

The average age of the population is 38.7 years old, that’s 2.8 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 15% for the over 65s.

People who are black, Asian or of minority ethnic origin, BAME, represent 25% of the residents. 26% of the people living in Sutton were born abroad. The largest migrant group according to the last census is from Sri Lanka and makes up 2% 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 Bulgaria.

Housing

The median house price in the borough is £285,000.   Owner occupiers outnumber those who rent with 26% owning their home outright and a further 42% with a mortgage compared to 21% who rent privately and a further 12% 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 £1,459.

Crime

The crime rate in Sutton is 56 crimes per 1,000 residents, which is lower than the London average of 84 and is among the lowest in the capital.

The Area

Sutton covers an area of 4,385 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 Sutton is above the national average with 78% of people in work. The median annual salary for men is £36,251 and for women it is lower at £26,372.  The median income for a household in the borough is £49,170.

The workforce is among the less qualified in London with 43% of workers who are educated to degree level or above. 4% 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 91,266 cars in the borough, which equates to 1.2 cars per household.  Sutton is rated as below average for public transport, based on an index compiled by Transport for London. According to Government data on physical activity, 12.5% of people cycle each month.

Health and Well-being

Men living in Sutton can expect to live until they are 81, for women life expectancy is 83 years. The borough has a death rate from what are considered to be preventable causes of 163.2 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 17% 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 7.5 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

 

Diabetes in Sutton

Sutton has one of the lowest rates of diabetes in London but the number of sufferers will go up by 4,933 in the next 20 years, placing pressure on local health services, according to Public Health England.

There are currently 12,763 people with diabetes in the area, up by 279 on last year. Some 7.9% of all the people living in Sutton 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 8.1% 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 2.0% of them will live in Sutton .

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

 

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.

Mayoral Election Issues: The Housing Shortage

roofer colourThe population is 8.6 million and the city is struggling with a shortage of housing.  Sounds familiar?  While this describes London today it also portrays the capital in the late 1930s.

After a post-war decline, the population has just got back to the 30s peak and a housing crisis has come back too.  So what has happened to house building in the intervening years? How did London find itself with a similar problem?

First, a bit of urban history. The shape of the capital has changed. In 1939 far more people lived in central London – 4.4 million lived in inner boroughs while 4.1 lived in outer ones[1].  The most highly populated areas were Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Lambeth, and can be seen as the darker areas on the map.

House bulding map 1-2

By 2015, the population of inner boroughs had fallen by 1 million while the outer boroughs have swelled by 24% to 5.1 million.  The most highly populated areas today are Barnet, Croydon and Ealing.

House building map 2-2

This switch in population from inner to outer came about because of house building.  The population surge of the 30s was met with a surge in building, and most of it took place in outer areas[2].

House building chart 3-2

This lure of new housing in the suburbs and the loss of central London housing in the Blitz helped reshape the capital.

In the last decade fewer homes were built than in the 1960s and 70s, when the population was shrinking. House-building has failed to keep pace with the population.

Since 2002 London has seen a 21% increase in jobs and a 16% rise in population. Over the same period new homes have increased by 11%[3].

House building chart 4-2

The 11% figure disguises a stark difference between inner and outer boroughs and where those homes have been built. Data from the Department for Communities and Local Government shows that there has been a 37% increase in the number of homes in Tower Hamlets since 2001 and a 20% increase in Islington. But in the same period the growth rate in dwellings in 16 outer boroughs has been in single figures – with just 4% in Sutton and 2% in Merton.

house buidling map 5-2

This pattern of growth is a reversal of what happened through most of the 20th century when more than half of the new housing stock was provided in the outer boroughs.

This growth in inner areas is not uniform however. 28% of the housing stock in Tower Hamlets was built this century, the highest proportion anywhere in the UK. It has the space through the redevelopment of areas like Canary Wharf and Limehouse.  Kensington and Chelsea in contrast has seen a 2% growth in homes due to the lack of brownfield sites.

The building in inner London means these areas are becoming more densely packed. Housing density is measured in dwellings per hectare. The average for England as a whole is 1.8. The average rate for London is 21.5[4]. For Inner London it is more than double that again at 44.6. And for Kensington and Chelsea, the borough with London’s highest, it is 69.1 dwelling per hectare.  The lowest density is Havering with 8.7 dwellings per hectare.  Havering is 10 times larger than Kensington and Chelsea. If it were to have the same dwelling density as the Royal borough it would have nearly 800,000 homes not the 100,000 it has currently.

As in the 1930s, the location of home building is pulling the population.  The biggest rate of growth in the past 12 months is in the City of London, but the numbers are small. After that it is Tower Hamlets where there has been at a 2.3% rise in residents in a year.

The GLA’s forecast for the next 25 years[5] shows that Tower Hamlets will lead the growth in residents, closely followed by Newham as many head east in search of a home.

House buidling map 6-2

But can building keep pace with demand?   New home starts are climbing back towards where they were 10 years ago, but it is still not enough and the problem is widely acknowledged. In his housing strategy document last year[6], the outgoing Mayor, Boris Johnson, said that housing was an “epic challenge” and that the number of new homes being built in the capital would need to double to 42,000 per year for the next 20 years to keep pace with population growth.

House building in the capital has been bumping along at around the 20,000 level for the past 10 years[7]. Following the financial crisis of 2008 it dipped sharply.

House building chart 7-2

Most of the homes being built are in the private sector, not social housing, which raises issues about affordability. Even in the ‘affordable’ sector a shift has taken place.

More affordable housing was delivered in London in the 2014-15 financial year than for any period dating back to 1991[8]. 17,913 homes were built or acquired and made available (so not counted in the new starts chart above) in the affordable rented sector, according to data from the Department for Communities and Local Government, and the GLA.

Affordable rents were previously available through what was termed social housing. This is rented property provided by a council or a housing association with long, secure tenancies and rents at around 50% of the market rates.

Housing associations also provided Intermediate rental.  This gives a tenant a subsidised rent, usually around 60% of the market rate, while they save for a deposit to buy the property.

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.

It is this sector that has taken off in the past year, increasing the amount of affordable housing, but the amount of Social Rent housing has declined sharply since AR was introduced.  And this is not due to the building of new stock alone. Some Social Rent property is re-classified as Affordable Rent when it becomes vacant.

House building chart 8-2

The last time the delivery of affordable housing was at this level was in 2011-12.  In that year a comparable number of Intermediate Rent properties were made available.  But there were 11,374 Social Rent homes. In 2014-15 that had been reduced to 3,053[9].

All candidates are making pledges about houses but perhaps the voters’ decisions on the housing issue comes down to the answers to 3 simple questions.  How many houses will you build, what sort of homes will they be and where will you build them?

Sources

[1] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/population-change-1939-2015

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

[3] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/number-and-density-of-dwellings-by-borough

[4] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/number-and-density-of-dwellings-by-borough

[5] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/population-change-1939-2015

[6] https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/housing-and-land/housing-strategy/mayors-housing-strategy

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

Drinking alcoholThe soberest 15-year-olds in the country appear to be living in London, with the exception perhaps of the teenagers of Richmond.

A national survey of attitudes and habits of 15-year-olds found that 59% in London say that they have never touched alcohol, the lowest level for any region in England and Wales.

Of those that have drunk alcohol, nearly two thirds say that they are do not drink currently while in the South West of England, the same proportion say they do.

The What About YOUth survey commissioned by the Department of Health reveals that drinking habits are influenced by cultural and ethnic factors and by deprivation levels.

This can be seen in a borough by borough break down of the survey that received responses from around 120,000 teenagers.

When asked if they had ever taken an alcoholic drink just 15% in Tower Hamlets, 20% in Newham and 25% in Brent said yes.  Both boroughs have high levels of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic teenagers in the population, who were found to drink less than white youngsters.  Many Muslims live in these boroughs and drinking alcohol is forbidden by their faith.

Drinking levels were higher in outer London boroughs (including Redbridge, Havering, Bexley, Bromley, Sutton and Kingston), than inner ones and the highest proportion of 15-year-olds who have consumed alcohol was in Richmond.

Teens had a drink

Richmond also has the highest proportion in England and Wales of 15-year-olds who say that they have been drunk in the past month.  38% of those who say that they have tried alcohol say that they have been drunk in the previous 4 weeks.

Teens drunks

The proportion in Richmond is substantially higher than most other London boroughs. Haringey was the only other borough where the rate was above 30%.

Source data

See also

Kensington teenage girls have the most negative body image in England

London losing its thirst for binge drinking

London teen pregnancy rate lowest but more end in abortion

 

Sexual infection rates doubled or trebled in some areas over past 5 years

condom in handLevels of sexually transmitted infections are soaring in London with rates of syphilis rising by 45% in Lambeth in 12 months.

Across the capital there is a marked increase in the diagnosis of a range of sexual infections particularly in young people aged 16-24 and among gay men.

Figures for the diagnosis of infections gathered from genito-urinary medicine (GUM) clinics by Public Health England show that while levels of infection are up across the UK it is London that is seeing a particularly steep rise.

syphilis chart

The rate of syphilis in London has more than doubled in 5 years, with the biggest increase from 2013 to 2014, the last full year of records. In some boroughs the picture is more concerning with a rise of 140% in Lambeth and a three-fold increase between 2009-14 in Southwark.

syphilis map

Rates remain below the national rate for England of 7.8 cases per 100,000 in a number of outer London boroughs. Bexley, Sutton, and Barking and Dagenham have the lowest rates of diagnosis.

Syphilis is a bacterial infection that if left untreated can cause significant health problems and even death. It can be effectively treated with antibiotics and remains relatively rare. Gonorrhoea is a much more common and has also increased dramatically, rising 47% in 5 years.

Once again it is Lambeth and Southwark that have the highest levels. Rates for the City of London are high, though based upon a small population. Most central areas have a rate well in excess of the London-wide average of 190 cases per 100,000 people. Only 5 London boroughs, Sutton, Harrow, Havering, Bexley and Bromley have rates below the England average of 63 cases per 100,000.

gonorrhoea map

The rate in Southwark went up by 172% between 2009-14, while is Lambeth it rose by more than 200%. Lambeth has the highest rate of gonorrhoea in England.

Gonorrhoea is easily transmitted during sex and many people, particularly women, do not show any symptoms. It is treated with antibiotics, though there is concern about the growing resistance of the infection to some of these drugs.

Public Health England analysis shows that there is some difference in infection rates based upon ethnicity with black people having higher diagnosis rates, particularly those living in deprived urban areas.

There are also variation in the distribution of infections according to sexual orientation and gender. Men having sex with other men accounted for 81% of the cases of syphilis and 52% of the cases of gonorrhoea in England last year. Genital warts and chlamydia are nearly all in heterosexual people while 92% of the diagnoses of genital herpes are in women.

Public Health England says that rates are highest in London as the city is home to core groups of people at risk and there is greater access to clinics providing treatment.

It says the rates in gay men are particularly worrying and may be due to unsafe sex, including the decision not to use a condom by partners believed to be of the same HIV status.

Source data

See also

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Many in caring professions negative towards LGBT people, says survey

 

Low birth weight babies in Tower Hamlets 60% above London average

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Photo: My Life Graphic ┃Shutterstock.com

9,500 babies were born with a low birth weight in London last year. A little over half of them were premature but more than 4,000 were full term babies who weighed less than 2.5 kg or 5.5lbs.

Low birth weight is related to the rate of infant deaths and the risk of poor health for children. While the rate has come down in London over the past 10 years at 3.2% it is still above the average for England and in some areas it is markedly higher.

The rate in Tower Hamlets is 5%, the highest in London. It is also high in Newham, Harrow and Waltham Forest. Boroughs in South West London have much lower rates, particularly Richmond and Sutton.

Low birth weight

The reasons for low birth weight in full term babies are complex. Smoking and drinking alcohol during pregnancy are factors but so too are medical problems for the mother such as conditions that affect the placenta and inhibit the baby’s growth.

Genetics also play a part. Some families are just smaller and low birth weight is far more common in Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Black African and Caribbean families than white Europeans. The areas of London with high rates all have a higher than average proportion of Black, Asian and minority ethnic residents.

But low birth weight has also been linked to social inequalities. It is more common in single mothers and for parents in manual occupations.

The government uses it as a public health indicator in relation to issues of premature mortality, avoidable illness, and inequalities in health, particularly in relation to child poverty.

Source data

See also

More mums in their early 40s than early 20s in city’s wealthiest areas

Baby booming Wandsworth is the city’s kiddie capital

Over 50% of London babies have mothers born outside the UK