Well-being and wealth – how South West London soars ahead of the rest

Fine homes in Kensington and Chelsea,  where well-being is high

Fine homes in Kensington and Chelsea, where well-being is high

The happiest and most contented people in London live largely in the well-to-do South West of the city. The area where more people are unhappy or feel they are struggling is Enfield.

That is the finding from the Greater London Authority’s well-being index, and data just released shows how residents rate their well-being across 625 wards, the neighbourhoods within boroughs. Perhaps predictably people in the wealthier areas of London rate their well-being as high, those in poorer neighbourhoods do not.

The GLA defined well-being by identifying 12 criteria for people to rate across the categories of health, economic security, safety, education, childcare, families, transport, environment, and happiness

The results show that the happiest, most secure and contented people in London live in the up-market Knightsbridge/Belgravia ward in the borough of Westminster.

The top 20 wards included 15 in affluent South West London, including wards in Kensington and Chelsea, Richmond, Merton and Kingston. Bromley in the South East featured strongly with 4 wards in the top 20. West London scored 1 top 20 place with Northfield ward in Ealing.

The top 5:

Position Ward Borough
1 Knightsbridge and Belgravia Westminster
2 Campden Kensington and Chelsea
3 West Wickham Bromley
4 South Twickenham Richmond upon Thames
5 East Sheen Richmond upon Thames

The lowest sense of well-being was recorded in Edmonton Green in Enfield. Enfield scores high in the unhappiness stakes with 3 other wards in the bottom 10. The bottom 20 are concentrated in  North and North East London and include wards in Haringey, Barking and Dagenham, Newham, Hackney, Brent, Tower Hamlets, Havering, plus Croydon in the south.

The bottom 5;

Position Ward Borough
621 Upper Edmonton Enfield
622 Northumberland Park Haringey
623 Harlsden Brent
624 Fieldway Croydon
625 Edmonton Green Enfield

The ward map underlines how people in South West and West London have a high sense of well-being which is not shared by their fellow Londoners in the poorer areas in the North.  The green areas represent high scores, the orange and red, low scores on the index.

well being map 9

While East London gets lower scores, the corridor along both banks of the Thames between Canary Wharf and Thamesmead has shown a marked improvement since 2009.

Source data