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Key points

  • 18% of pensioners in London (180,000) are in poverty, this compares to 12% in the rest of England.
  • The pensioner poverty rate in London has fallen by 7 percentage points in the last decade. Pensioners in London now have a lower poverty rate than working-age adults and children. This fall in pensioner poverty can be seen across England.
  • There are more poor pensioners in Outer London, although the poverty rate is higher in Inner London.
  • Life expectancy has risen in London, as in the rest of the UK - and is now above the England average for both men and women.

Indicators concerned with pensioners include people who are over state pension age, even though some will still be in paid employment.


Compared to the rest of England the pensioner population in London is small - only 12% of London's population is aged 65 and over compared to 19% for the rest of England.

Nonetheless the poverty rate among pensioners in London is higher than then the rest of England, but across the country (including the capital) the rate has fallen significantly over the last decade.


The number of pensioners in poverty in London has fallen from 250,000 to 180,000 in the past decade. Over this time the poverty rate for pensioners in London fell from 12% to 18%. This means that pensioners in London now have a lower poverty rate than working-age adults (26%) and children (37%).

The fall in pensioner poverty occurred across England, and the pensioner poverty rate in London, particularly Inner London, remains higher than the average for the rest of England. In the three years to 2013/14 the poverty rate among pensioners was 23% in Inner London, 16% in Outer London and 12% and in the rest of England.

Life expectancy

Life expectancy has risen in London more than the rest of England & Wales in the past 20 years. By 2011/13, life expectancy for men in London was almost a year greater than the England and Wales average - 80 compared to 79.3. For women, life expectancy in London is 84.1 compared to 83.0.

This means that within London, the gap between men and women has fallen substantially, from 6 years in 1991/93 to 4.1 years in 2011/13. But there are substantial variations between and within London's boroughs.

The gap in male life expectancy between the most and least deprived areas ranges from 8 years in Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea to one year in Lambeth and two years in Barking and Dagenham, Lewisham, Southwark, Greenwich and Hackney.

For women, gaps tend to be lower, and as a result the range is slightly smaller. The largest gap among women is seven years in Camden. The smallest gap is half a year in Lambeth.

Find out more about life expectancy in London.

None of the other indicators on this site specifically relate to pensioners.

Find out more about UK-wide data on poverty and age from Joseph Rowntree Foundation.