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Tower Hamlets

See the Borough highlighted in red above


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:

Borough profile

Tower Hamlets is an Inner London borough at the heart of London’s East End. Hackney lies to the north of the borough while the River Lee forms the boundary with the London Borough of Newham to the east. The boroughs of Southwark, Lewisham and Greenwich lie to the south, across the Thames.

It was formed in 1965 as an amalgamation of the former metropolitan boroughs of Stepney, Poplar and Bethnal Green. The population of Tower Hamlets, in line with the rest of inner London, fell from 490,000 before the Second World War to around 140,000 in 1981. The population today stands at around 254,000.

One of the defining features of the area over time has been the way in which it has been an entry point into the UK for generations of migrants. Significant numbers of Huguenot refugees, Ashkenazi Jews, Irish weavers and, in the 20th Century, Bangladeshis have made their home in Tower Hamlets.

Tower Hamlets 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.

Tower Hamlets has the second highest unemployment rate in London. Every ward has a higher proportion of people claiming out of work benefits than the London average. Problems are by no means confined to the economic - Tower Hamlets also has very high rates of long term illness and premature death.

Yet this is only half the picture. Tower Hamlets also has some of the highest paid people in London, working in the financial district of Canary Wharf, which has European headquarters for HSBC, Citibank and Barclays. The proportion of jobs in Tower Hamlets that are low paid is one of the smallest in the capital.

LB Tower Hamlets local authority website