The London's Poverty Profile website uses cookies to give you the best possible experience. By continuing, we will assume you are happy to receive all cookies on the website. More information on cookies can be found on our privacy page.

Tower Hamlets

Borough profile

In many respects, Tower Hamlets is a borough of two halves: those who live there, and those who work there. The proportion of jobs in Tower Hamlets that are low paid is the lowest out of any borough in the capital, at 8%. This is in contrast to the proportion of residents who are in low-paid work, at 19%.

This disparity reflects the fact that Tower Hamlets has some of the highest paid people in London, working in the financial district of Canary Wharf.

The borough has the second highest unemployment rate in London, after Barking & Dagenham, at 8.8%. This has fallen from 9.4% between 2009-11 and 2012-14. Nearly a third (32%) of young people living in the borough live in families claiming tax credits.

Housing costs in Tower Hamlets are two percentage points below the average for inner London, at 68%. For many this is unaffordable.

Overall, the borough ranks in the bottom eight worst performing in London. It performs marginally better than its neighbouring inner boroughs of Lewisham and Newham.

The population of Tower Hamlets is around 254,000. It has one of the largest Bangladeshi communities in the country, at 81,000 or 32% of the population. The proportion of people who describe themselves as White British is 31%, which is low even for London.


Compare Tower Hamlets's overall performance against other boroughs

Tower Hamlets is highlighted particularly in the relevant indicators listed on the right. In addition, data for all boroughs feature in the indicators below:

Low income





Low pay

Benefits & welfare reform