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Poverty, work and age

Key points

  • 2.25 million people are in poverty in London, slightly higher than the 1.9 million in poverty a decade previously.
  • The number of pensioners in poverty in London has fallen from 250,000 to 180,000 in the past decade.
  • Compared to a decade ago, there are many more children in working families (up from 250,000 to 450,000) and fewer in workless families (down from 350,000 to 230,000).
  • The number of working-age adults in poverty in London has increased from 1.1 million to 1.4 million in the past decade. Almost all of this rise has been among working families.
  • The majority (60%) of children and working-age adults in poverty live in a family where someone is in work.

People in poverty by work and age

What does this graph show?

In the three years to 2013/14, 2.25 million people were in poverty in London, slightly higher than the 1.9 million in poverty a decade previously. This is largely in line with the increase in London's population.

The graph looks at how the number of people in poverty in London has changed over the last decade for children, working-age adults and pensioners, and whether they belong to a family where someone is in work. In the case of pensioners, the number in poverty has fallen from 250,000 to 180,000 in the past decade.

In the three years to 2003/04 there were around 600,000 children in poverty in London, which had grown to 680,000 a decade later. But an underlying shift has occurred among children in poverty, with many more in working families than before (up from 250,000 to 450,000) and fewer in workless families (down from 350,000 to 230,000).

The number of working-age adults in poverty in London has increased from 1.1 million to 1.4 million in the past decade. Almost all of this has been in working families (up from 490,000 to 790,000), although unlike the number of children, the number of adults in workless families has remained fairly steady (from 560,000 to 590,000).

So the increase in the number of people in poverty in London has been almost entirely among those in working families and some of this has been countered by a fall in the number in poverty in a workless household. A decade ago, the majority of children and adults in poverty in London were in workless families (55%); now the majority live in a family where someone is in work (60%).

Data used

Households Below Average Income, DWP

Indicator last updated: 15 October 2015