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Overview of London boroughs

Updated on 20 October 2015

The grid above looks at how London's boroughs compare with one another across a series of indicators. A borough is shaded in dark red for a particular indicator if it is among the worst performing four boroughs, orange if it's in the next four boroughs, light orange if it's in the next eight boroughs and pale yellow for the sixteen best performing boroughs; the darker the colour the deeper the problem.

Looking first at the Inner West, on the summary measure [15], none of the boroughs are in the bottom half for London. But it performs badly on four indicators in particular including housing affordability [6] and out-of-borough homelessness placements [4]. The two are clearly linked - the high housing costs in the Inner West make it harder for local authorities to find somewhere they can place homeless households within housing benefit limits. It also performs poorly on the two inequality indicators [1 and 2] which we have seen in previous editions of this report.

The Outer South also performs poorly in terms of inequality with a high proportion of benefit claimants concentrated in only a few areas [1]. Compared with the rest of London, GCSE attainment of free-school meal pupils [13] is also poor in the Outer South. On most other indicators the Outer South is above the London average; Croydon is the only borough in the sub-region that is below the London average overall [15].

The Inner East & South performs poorly across a range of indicators with six out of the eight boroughs in the bottom half for London overall [15]. In the late 2000s this sub-region clearly stood out as being the worst performing, but it no longer does, which is an improvement. Levels of benefit receipt [11 and 12] remain relativity high across the sub-region as does the unemployment ratio [7] but it has also seen some of the biggest improvements on this indicator [8].

The three worst performing boroughs within the Inner East & South (Newham, Haringey and Lewisham) are the furthest from the centre of London and share much of their borders with the Outer East & Northeast sub-region which also performs relatively badly. Here only Redbridge is not in the bottom half for London overall [15]. The sub-region contains some of the highest rates of low pay [9], benefit receipt [11 and 12] and landlord repossessions [5]. As for unemployment, the overall levels are quite high [7] but, unlike the Inner East & South, they have experienced some of the slowest improvements in unemployment [8] and biggest increases in low pay [10].

Lastly we turn to the Outer West & Northwest. This sub-region has always been in the middle of the rankings with a mixed performance across the indicators. But now the sub-region contains two of the worst performing four boroughs in London: Ealing and Brent. These two boroughs in particular stand out for the high levels of low pay [9 and 10] and unemployment [7]. Except for Richmond all boroughs in this region are also in the bottom half in terms of changes in unemployment [8] and low pay [10] suggesting that it is falling behind the rest of London.

More key facts: