Inner London `most deprived part of Britain'

Poverty gap: Divide between rich and poor is sharpest in capital as unemployment and overcrowding rise, researcher shows


All but one of the inner London local authority areas fall into the 20 most deprived in England, and inequality within the capital means unemployment in the poorest wards is eight times that in the richest.

Not even the "leafy suburbs" of outer London are exempt, with pockets of poverty living "cheek by jowl" with the "extremely wealthy", according to figures produced by Carey Oppenheim, senior lecturer at South Bank University,

Such contrasts have been growing inexorably over the past 20 years and are reflected throughout the country, Ms Oppenheim told the inaugural meeting of the London region of the National Local Government Forum.

But while all regions have struggled to deal with poverty "the inequality is sharper in London", she said.

In 1979, 9 per cent of people lived in poverty (defined as 50 per cent of average income after housing costs). By 1992-93 this had jumped to 25 per cent.

For children, the figures are worse. Ten per cent of children lived in poverty in 1979. This had reached 33 per cent - 4.3 million - by 1992- 93.

The worst affected groups are single parents of whom nearly 60 per cent live in poverty. More than one-third of single pensioners live in poverty and 26 per cent of pensioner couples are poor.

Newham in east London is the most deprived borough in England, followed by Hackney. Westminster comes fourth. The one inner-London authority that escapes the deprivation table is the City.

The local authority areas outside London in the 20 most deprived are the Scilly Isles, Liverpool, Knowsley, Birmingham and Kingston upon Hull. The two outer London authorities which figure in the table are Waltham Forest and Brent.

Within local authority areas standards of living can differ widely, but six of the 10 wards worst wards in terms of multiple deprivation are in the east London borough of Tower Hamlets. The 10 with the highest standards of living are dominated by Sutton, in south London, and Havering, east London. Spitalfields, the worst ward, has an unemployment rate eight times that of Upminster, in Havering. Overcrowding is also worse. In the richest wards less than 1 per cent of people live in overcrowded households, compared with 29.8 per cent in Spitalfields.

"London is a particular case," Ms Oppenheim, who worked previously with the Child Poverty Action Group, said. "It combines extremes of wealth with extremes of poverty living cheek by jowl. It reflects what goes on nationally ... but the inequalities are more extreme."

Simon Hughes, Liberal Democrat MP for Southwark and Bermondsey, said the forums on poverty must unite to form a national strategy. "The gap between rich and poor is widening in nearly every country in the world, ... but it has widened more in this country than in any other comparable one over the last 10, 15 or 20 years."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
A poster by Durham Constabulary
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Emily McDowell Card that reads:
artCancer survivor Emily McDowell kicks back at the clichés
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvBadalamenti on board for third series
Life and Style
Standing room only: the terraces at Villa Park in 1935
Ben Stokes celebrates with his team mates after bowling Brendon McCullum
sportEngland vs New Zealand report
Amal Clooney has joined the legal team defending 'The Hooden Men'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine