The city centre of London with its fabulous architecture, fashionable stores and amazing attractions is elegant, affluent and one of the richest cities in the world. In some of the outlying areas, however, it is a very different story as here you will find some of the most impoverished parts of any British city.
It is a sad fact that in this day and age inner city poverty is still rife in many boroughs of London, and to compile a list there are many factors to consider. To determine the top 10 poorest places in London we have collated such information as low income, the number out of work, pay inequality, housing, health, education and social reform. Here is our list and the following areas paint a grim and depressing picture of how life can be in the poorest parts of London in 2014.
The borough of Hackney not only has one of the highest levels of poverty in London but is also rated as the most deprived of all the boroughs in the capital. As if that wasn’t bad enough, it now tops the poll as the UK’s most deprived areas, so things aren’t looking that great at the moment for the people of Hackney. The particular issues that affect Hackney are nothing new; high unemployment, high crime rates and poor living environments but they seem to have had a particularly bad effect on Hackney.
9. Tower Hamlets
Tower Hamlets has been in the news a lot recently with the Princes Trust Charity get involved to try and help young people in the area into work. Unemployment in Tower Hamlets is at one of the highest levels in capital, which inevitably leads to poverty and often to crime. Another area with an impoverished local council so there is no money coming into the area to make long overdue improvements. Tower Hamlets boasts the highest level of child poverty in London, is the capitals second most deprived area and the third highest nationally.
Newham has the unwelcome distinction of being a long time resident of the top 10 most deprived areas of the UK for child poverty. There is not a lot of positive things you can say about this run down area of inner east London and the fact the local authority, Newham London Borough Council, is the second most deprived in the UK speaks volumes for this seemingly neglected and unloved area the poverty levels are only matched by the crime levels. High levels of debt and poor housing have exacerbated an already serious problem in an area where 69% of children live in low income families.
Another deprived inner London area, some may be surprised to see Islington on this list as it does possess sections of aesthetically pleasing architecture. Stats do not lie however, and it is estimated that as many as 50% of children in Islington are living in poverty. Crime is high, housing run down and neglected, the council have no money to spend so Islington just continues down its rocky road to decline. The lack of housing and health facilities and a poor natural environment just add to the problems facing the people of Islington.
6. Barking and Dagenham
The borough of Barking and Dagenham is another poverty hot spot with one in five, of those who have found work, being paid less than the recommended living wage. High rises and local authority housing dominate the landscape, and this is not an area you want to be out and about at night and crime levels are high. 59% of children living in Barking and Dagenham are part of low income families and when the charity Save the Children launched its first UK campaign back in 2012 it was centred around this area.
Once a market town in Middlesex before the boundaries were moved, Enfield is now very much considered the poor relation by neighbouring boroughs. There is nothing here now to give any reference to the bustling town it once was, and poverty and crime have seen parts of Enfield become very dilapidated and it is not surprising that some of the cheapest housing in London can be found in Enfield. The main drivers of deprivation in this borough are crime, low income, living environments and housing.
Despite its fame the world over thanks to Greenwich Mean Time, parts of this area leave an awful lot to be desired. There are changes afoot however, with the demolition of estates which have become real blots on the landscape as well as being used by gangs. This is an area that attracts visitors to its famous park and maritime museum, and it good to see that the outlying areas that brought the area down are finally being dealt with. The poverty, crime and high unemployment levels are still to be addressed however.
In some lists you will see that Havering is ranked pretty highly as one of the less deprived boroughs of the capital, but there is a high level of inequality here that points to pockets of poverty. The main causes of these are though to be the educational disadvantage suffered by the youth of Havering and the high crime rate.
2. Waltham Forest
The north east borough of Waltham Forest has been identified as having high levels of deprivation driven by poor health and very high crime levels. There is very much a north/south divide within Waltham Forest with the south coming off worst. An inner city, urban environment exists in this area while the north has affluent neighbourhoods and green space.
Camden suffers from one of London’s highest rates of child poverty with almost 60% of children in borough living in low income families. The particular issues facing Camden are neighbourhood deprivation, high crime rates and poor quality of housing. While there seems little to appeal to newcomers in the area, there are few areas of London whose residents are so fiercely proud of their manor as the good people of Camden are.