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Changes over time

The table above summarises how the key indicators in London's Poverty Profile compares with five and ten years ago.

In terms of low income, it is important to note that due to a fall in incomes over recent years the poverty threshold now is lower than it was five years ago but is about the same as ten years ago. These short-term changes should be viewed with caution, but compared with a decade ago pensioner poverty has improved, child poverty is unchanged and poverty among those in a working family has increased.

London remains the most unequal region in the country so the trends over time may seem surprising. Income inequality and wealth inequality are both lower than five years ago. But this compares the most recent data with that just before the recession when income inequality reached a peak. Immediately after the recession the poorest in London took a proportionally smaller hit; but compared with ten years ago, inequality remains unchanged. It is not yet clear how and if inequality will change as the recovery takes hold.

Mortgage possession rates are lower now than at their peak and also lower than ten years ago. But for landlord repossessions and overcrowding the trend has consistently worsened. Statutory homelessness has been rising over the last five years but remains lower than the peak of the mid-2000s, while the number of rough sleepers is at its highest since data has been collected.

Levels of worklessness are better with falls in the unemployment ratio, young adult unemployment and workless households. All of these are back to or better than where they were five years ago. Unemployment in London is at least as good as its prerecession level, but the quality of that employment has not improved. The proportion of jobs that are low paid and the proportion of employees in involuntarily part-time or temporary work is higher now than before and during the recession.

This is somewhat reflected in trends in benefit receipt. Out-of-work benefit claims are lower than five and ten years ago. But housing benefit claims by workless and working households needing help with rent payments have not fallen. While there are fewer jobseekers than there were five years ago, the proportion that lost some of their benefit income due to a sanction has increased.

In education the picture is a positive one. The 2013 London's Poverty Profile report noted that both London pupils receiving and not receiving free school meals were out-performing their peers in the rest of England. This report shows that the improvements in London have continued.

More key facts

Updated on 20 October 2015