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Glossary

Affordable housing

Housing available at sub-market costs to households whose needs are not met by the market. In practice this is housing available through the local authority or a registered social landlord most commonly for shared ownership, affordable rent or social rent.

Affordable rent

Housing which charges up to 80% of the local market rent, it is usually provided through the local authority or a registered social landlord.

Asylum Seeker

A person who, for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, fears persecution in the country of their birth and seeks refuge in another country.

BME

Black and Minority Ethnic. Unless otherwise stated on this website BME refers to all non-White ethnic groups.

Benefit cap

The total amount of benefit that workless working-age families can claim. It was introduced in April 2013 at £350 per week for single adults and £500 per week for all other families. The Welfare Reform and Work Bill 2015-16 contains plans to lower this cap to £296 for single adults and £442 for all other families in London, and £258 and £385 outside of London.

Benefit polarisation

Benefit Polarisation is a measure used in London's Poverty Profile to see how evenly distributed out-of-work benefit claimants are across a borough.

Benefit recipiency levels

The proportion of working-age adults receiving out-of-work benefits.

Child poverty

A child is defined as in poverty when he/she lives in a household with an income below 60% of the median household income in the UK. Income includes earnings and benefits and is adjusted to reflect the household size (equivalised). It can be measured both before and after housing cost are paid.

Contributory benefits

Contributory benefits are paid to an individual who has made sufficient national insurance contributions.

Disability

London's Poverty Profile takes a data-led approach so the definition of disability is confined to the definition used in the source data. These definitions are based participants' responses to various survey questions. In most cases the questions aim to identify as accurately as possible those who are disabled under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, that is someone with a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) replaced Incapacity Benefit (IB) for out-of-work adults with disabilities or who are ill. To qualify for ESA claimant must undergo a Work Capability Assessment. ESA claimants can be in one of two groups: those assessed as indefinitely unable to work and those expect to be able to return to work at some point. The former are entitled to a slightly higher amount of benefit and the latter are required to participate in work related activities.

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) replaced Incapacity Benefit (IB) for out-of-work adults with disabilities or who are ill. There are two rates of ESA, one for those assessed as able to work and one for those not able to work, the former rate being higher than the JSA rate. Neither is above the poverty threshold. There is a contribution-based version of ESA. Unlike JSA, it is not time limited.

Ethnic classifications

The current official classification (used in the Census and in many official datasets) is based on the following division:

• White; comprised of: English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British, Irish, Gypsy or Irish Traveller, Any other White background.
• Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups; comprised of: White and Black Caribbean, White and Black African, White and Asian, Any other Mixed/Multiple ethnic background.
• Asian/Asian British; comprised of: Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Chinese, Any other Asian background.
• Black/ African/Caribbean/Black British; comprised of: African, Caribbean, Any other Black/African/Caribbean
• Other ethnic group; comprised of: Arab, Any other ethnic group

In household surveys ethnicity is usually assigned to the household based on the ethnicity of the head of the households rather than each individual within it.

Ethnicity

Characteristics of a group with distinctive cultural, linguistic and/or religious ties.

Free School Meal (FSM)

Free School Meals are available to school-aged children whose parents receive means-tested out-of-work benefits. This is the best available proxy of low income against which we can measure school attainment. It excludes children in low-income working families and those who are eligible for but don't claim free school meals.

GCSE

A General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) are taught in most schools in England at Key Stage 4. Typically pupils complete their GCSE exams at the age of 16.

Health inequality

Health inequality is when healthiness is unevenly distributed across society. For example it can be measured by looking at the gap in life expectancy between men and women in the most deprived areas to those in the least deprived areas within the same borough.

Homeless

Homelessness includes rough sleepers, those assessed by the local authority to be "statutory homeless" (i.e. eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless, and fall within a specified priority need group) and hidden homelessness (such as overcrowded households or sofa surfers). Hidden homelessness is very difficult to measure; London's Poverty Profile focuses on rough sleepers and households that are statutory homeless.

Homelessness duty

A local authority owes a 'homelessness duty' under the Homelessness Act 2002 to a household if they are assessed as being eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless, and fall within a specified priority need group. This means the local authority has a duty to house that particular household.

Homelessness prevention

Homelessness prevention means providing people with the ways and means to address their housing needs and other needs to avoid homelessness. Under the Homelessness Act 2002, local housing authorities must have a strategy for preventing homelessness in their district.

Homelessness relief

Homelessness prevention means providing people with the ways and means to address their housing needs and other needs to avoid homelessness. Under the Homelessness Act 2002, local housing authorities must have a strategy for preventing homelessness in their district.

Household

A single person or group of people living at the same address as their only or main residence, who either share one meal a day together or share the living accommodation (i.e. living room).

Housing Benefit

A means-tested benefit which provides support for people with their housing rental costs.

In-work poverty

Someone who is working, or lives with someone who works, and has a household income below the poverty threshold (less than 60% of the median household income in the UK).

In-work tax credits

Child Tax Credit is a means-tested payment for people with dependent children, whether in or out of work. However, this analysis only uses the part payable to families in-work.

Working Tax Credit is a means-tested payment for working people on a low income.

Income Inequality

Income inequality is when income is unevenly distributed across society. It is often measured by comparing the size of the gap between the richest and the poorest. For example the 80:20 ratio shows how many times greater the income of someone in the richest 20 per cent of the population is of someone in the poorest 20 per cent of the population.

Income Support

Income Support (IS) is a means-tested benefit paid to out-of-work adults including lone parents of young children and people with caring responsibilities and are therefore not required to be available for or actively seek work.

Income poverty

A household is considered to be in income poverty (or on a low income) if its income is less than 60% of the UK median household income. This measure is used by the Government in its child poverty target and is in common usage across the European Union.

Income poverty

A household is considered to be in income poverty (or on a low income) if its income is less than 60% of median household income. This measure is used by the Government in its child poverty target and is in common usage across the European Union.

Income-related benefits are paid to 'families' (singles or couples, with or without dependent
children) with little or no other family income or savings.

Inequality

Inequality is when something (e.g. wealth, income or good health) is unevenly distributed across society. There are many ways of measuring how unequally something is distributed and commonly involves comparing the gap between those at the top and the bottom e.g. comparing the gap in life expectancy between those with the highest and those with the shortest life expectancy.

Infant mortality

Death occurring before 12 months.

Inner London

Camden, Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Newham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth, Westminster.

Job Seeker's Allowance (JSA)

Job seeker's allowance (JSA) is paid to those out of work but actively seeking work. 'Receiving JSA' is not the same as 'unemployment', which is measured via a household survey.

Lacking but not wanting work

Someone of working-age who is not officially unemployed and does not want work.

Lacking but wanting work

Someone who is either unemployed or wanting work but not available to start work, or wanting work but not actively seeking work.

Landlord repossession orders

Outright landlord possession orders allow landlords to immediately possess their property and evict the tenants.

Level 3 qualification

A qualification that that is assessed to meet Level 3 by the Regulated Qualifications Framework. Examples include: AS and A Level, International Baccalaureate, Key Skills level 3, NVQ Level 3. (A GCSE grade A*-C is a level 2 qualification.)

Level 4 at Key Stage 2 (KS2)

The educational standard for 11-year-olds. This is different to a Level 4 qualification.

Limiting long-standing or long-term illness

Illnesses which last longer than a year, are usually degenerative, and cause limitations to physical, mental and/or social well-being.

Local Housing Allowance (LHA)

Local Housing Allowance is used to work out how much Housing Benefit privately renting tenants can apply for. It is based on the cost of rents in the local area and the number of bedrooms required by them and their family.

London Living Wage

The London Living Wage is based on a calculated 'poverty threshold wage', but with an additional 15% added to ensure a 'decent' standard of living for the recipient. The rate is set each year by the Greater London Authority (GLA).

The UK Living Wage is calculated using a different method. Both are voluntary unlike the Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage which are compulsory (see below).

Low pay

The threshold for low pay used by this website is the London Living Wage.

Maintained schools

Schools that are funded by the local authority, including academies, community schools and voluntary-aided schools.

Material deprivation

Material deprivation is a measure used by the Department of Work and Pensions in its poverty analysis that aims to reflect if a household with children goes without basic goods or services for reasons of costs. A family is assessed as materially deprived if it lacks the ability to purchase commonly held goods or services.

Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage

The Minimum Wage is the minimum pay per hour almost all workers are entitled to by law. It doesn't matter how small an employer is, they still have to pay the minimum wage. The National Living Wage, introduced in April 2016, is higher the than the Minimum Wage and applies to workers aged 25 and older. The minimum wage will still apply for workers aged 24 and under.

Mortgage possession orders

Outright mortgage possession orders are issued by the County Court if a claim for possession by the mortgage lender is successful. The outright order permit the property is to be recovered by a specific date.

NEETs

16- to 19-year-olds not in education, employment or training.

Obese

Someone with a Body Mass Index (a person's weight divided by the square of their body height) over 30.

Obese

With a Body Mass Index over 30.

Official ethnic classifications

The current official classification (used in the census and in many official datasets) is based on the following division:

  • White, comprising White British, White Irish, and White Other
  • Asian or Asian British, comprising Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and Other Asian
  • Black or Black British, comprising, Black Caribbean, Black African, and Black Other
  • Chinese, and Other
  • Mixed, comprising White and Black Caribbean, White and Black African, White and Asian, and Any Other Mixed

In some of the low income analysis, White British and White Other are grouped together to enable comparisons over time, as the White Other group was only introduced in the relevant dataset in 2001. In some datasets, White Irish are included as White Other. ONS estimate that White Irish make up around one fifth of this larger White Other group.

These definitions assign an ethnicity to the household, rather than the individuals in the household, based on the ethnicity of the head of the household.

The 'Other' and 'Mixed' groups are not analysed either collectively or separately on grounds of sample reliability. Given the diversity within the groups, we do not present an analysis of, for instance, All Other, or All Mixed.

Outer London

Barking & Dagenham, Barnet, Bromley, Bexley, Brent, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Greenwich, Harrow, Havering, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kingston upon Thames, Merton, Redbridge, Richmond upon Thames, Sutton, Waltham Forest.

Overcrowding

The definition of overcrowding used here is based on the bedroom standard used by the Department of Communities and Local Government. It is based on a calculation of how many rooms are needed for that household, taking into account its size and composition. Any household lacking one or more rooms compared to the calculation would be defined as overcrowded.

Owner occupier

Someone who owns the home they live in, either outright or with a mortgage.

Pension Credit

Paid to those pensioners who have little or no income.

Pensioner

An individual who is over the state pension-age.

Poverty

The official measure of poverty used across the EU is based on household income. A household is considered to be in poverty if its income is less than 60% of the median household income in that country.

Premature death

Death occurring under the age of 65.

Private renter

Someone who rents their home from a private landlord.

Quartile

25% of the relevant population ordered according to the measure being discussed.

Rough Sleeping

The practice of sleeping, or bedding down, in the open air or in buildings or other places not designed for habitation (such as barns, sheds, car parks, cars, derelict boats or stations). Only a small proportion of homeless people sleep rough.

Sanction

A sanction is a reduction in or suspension of a benefit due to the claimant not meeting the conditions of that benefit. For example a Jobseeker's Allowance claimant might be sanctioned if they failed to attend a compulsory training or employment scheme. Sanctions vary in length depending on the condition the claimant failed to meet.

Social housing

Social housing is let at low rents on a secure basis to those who are most in need or struggling with their housing costs. Normally councils and not-for-profit organisations (such as housing associations) provide social housing.

Social renter

Someone who rents their accommodation from their local authority, housing assocation, or another affordable housing provider.

Statutory homelessness

Someone is statutory homeless if the local authority assessed them to be eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless, and in priority need.

Sub-region

London is commonly divided into Inner and Outer London, or into five sub-regions: Inner East & South, Inner West, Outer East & Northeast, Outer West and Northwest and Outer South. The boroughs contained in each sub-region are shown here.

Tax Credits (Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit)

Child Tax Credit is a means-tested payment for people with dependent children, whether in or out of work. Working Tax Credit is a means-tested payment for people on a low income who work a certain number of hours in a week.

Temporary Accommodation

Otherwise known as 'interim' or 'emergency' accommodation in B&Bs, hostels, bedsits, flats or houses. People who are recognised as homeless by their local authorities are housed in temporary accommodation until their needs have been properly assessed and suitable accommodation found.

Temporary contract

Employment contracts in which the employee is intended to leave after a certain period of time. This often includes maternity cover and seasonal work.

Underemployment

A working-age adult is defined as underemployed if they fall in to one of the following three groups:

1. They are officially unemployed (they are lacking and actively seeking paid work and are available to start work in the next four weeks).
2. They are economically inactive but who nevertheless want paid work.
3. They are in part-time work because they cannot find the full-time work they want.

Undocumented Migrants

People who entered the UK legally and stayed without acquiring a right of residency, and people who entered the UK illegally and never acquired the right of residence.

Unemployed

Someone wanting and actively seeking work who is available to start a full-time job straightaway.

Unemployment

A measure of people wanting and actively seeking work who are available to start a full-time job straightaway. Many unemployed people are not claiming unemployment benefit.

Some indicators express unemployment as unemployed people as a proportion of all people aged 16 to 64. This is called the "unemployment ratio". The unemployment is ratio is different to the "unemployment rate", which is unemployed people as a proportion of 16 to 64 year olds that are either employed or unemployed (i.e. excluding the economically inactive). The unemployment ratio is always lower than the unemployment rate.

Universal Credit

A welfare benefit launched in the UK in 2014 to replace six means-tested benefits and tax credits: Jobseeker's Allowance, Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Employment and Support Allowance and Income Support.

Wealth inequality

Wealth inequality is when wealth is unevenly distributed across society. It is often measured by comparing the size of the gap between those with the most wealth with those with the least. London's Poverty Profile categorises wealth into four types: financial (e.g. money in the bank and debts), physical (the value of physical assets such as household furniture, cars and collectables), property (but not the proportion still under mortgage) and private pension.

Workless

People who are not working but want a job and those people who are officially unemployed make up a group who can be described as 'lacking work but wanting work'. Anyone else of working-age who is not working is therefore 'lacking work but not wanting work'. The total workless population therefore includes those lacking and wanting work as well as those lacking but not wanting work.

Zero-hours contract

A zero-hour contract is a contract of employment which creates an 'on call' arrangement between employer and employee. Under the provisions of this contract the employer is not obliged to provide work for the employee, nor does it oblige the employee to accept the work offered.

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