Tuesday, 24 April 2012

London's 100 Poorest Areas

The theme for this post follows on from some work I did recently which looked at the increasing level of deprivation in Outer London, as reported in the Guardian a couple of weeks ago - see also the maps on the Guardian datablog. It's true that housing market pressures (among other things) are helping to push poverty away from Inner London but the majority of London's poorest are still within the inner city, and Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Newham in particular. In order to provide a clearer picture of where exactly the very poorest (most deprived) areas are, I produced a map and animation of London's 100 most deprived areas. 

The results are not at all surprising. Of the 100 most deprived LSOAs in London, according to the 2010 Indices of Deprivation, the Borough with the most areas is Tower Hamlets (18), followed by Hackney (17), Newham (13), Haringey (12) and Brent (10). Deprivation is increasing in Outer London relative to the past and I was particularly taken today by the news that Newham Council were looking to re-house poorer residents in Stoke (more than 150 miles away). That's taking the suburbanisation of poverty a bit far! 

Some work I did with Ed Ferrari last year looked at residential mobility patterns amongst the richest and poorest sectors of the population in England. What we found surprised us at the time. Our analysis showed that it was often the poorest areas which were associated with the longest residential moves. We didn't have enough fine-grained data to make more of this but it was an interesting insight into what might be happening more broadly.

Taking the 100 most deprived locations is of course arbitrary but the point here is that despite debates about whether 'the poor' should live in 'rich areas' the fact is that many of the poorest people living in London are in areas which in recent years have changed considerably so that they are now experiencing very high demand, inflated rents and severe socio-economic inequalities. This represents an intensification of existing processes rather than something entirely new but it does mean that policy makers need to think carefully about what to do about it...