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Poverty by tenure

Key points

  • The high poverty rate among social renters fell over the 2000s but since the recession has fluctuated around 50%. The poverty rate for private renters has been rising but fell slightly in recent years to 38%.
  • The poverty rate for owner-occupiers in London has remained consistently around 14%, much lower than the rate for renters.
  • The number of social renters in poverty fell by 100,000 to 810,000 in the last decade, the number of private renters in poverty doubled to 860,000. There are now more private renters in poverty than social renters or owners.

Poverty rate and people in poverty by tenure

What does this graph show?

The graph shows that the poverty rate for owner-occupiers in London has remained consistently around 14%, much lower than the rate for renters. The high poverty rate among social renters fell over the 2000s but since the recession has fluctuated around 50%. The poverty rate for private renters which was half way between owners and social renters in the mid-2000s has been rising but fell slightly in recent years to 38%.

Given that housing costs make a substantial difference to the poverty rate in London and whether someone rents or owns their home is clearly important.

As the size of the private rented sector has grown considerably in the last decade, the number of private renters in poverty has risen. While the number of social renters in poverty fell by 100,000 to 810,000 in the decade to 2011/12 to 2013/14, the number of private renters in poverty doubled to 860,000. So there are now more private renters in poverty than social renters or owners; a decade ago it was the least common of the three.

Data used

Households Below Average Income, DWP

Indicator last updated: 15 October 2015