Deprivation in Westminster

Westminster is a very wealthy borough and one of the most prosperous in the country with the average income of residents being the third highest of any borough in the UK. Despite this there are pockets of extreme deprivation and poverty; the statistics below paint a picture of a borough in the mists of an inequality crisis with extreme disparity of income, high levels of child poverty and a significant housing shortage.

Inequality statistics

The inequality between wards in Westminster in striking
• 14% of Westminster neighbourhoods are in severe deprivation which is defined as being in the top 10% of deprived neighbourhoods in the country. (Understanding Social Needs in Westminster –NPC Think Tank October 2012)

• 52% of all out of work benefit claimants in Westminster live in the most deprived 25% of areas compared to less than 5% of residents in the best 25%. Westminster is the second most polarised borough in London in terms of out of work benefits claimants, second only to Chelsea and Kensington. (London’s Poverty Profile – New Policy Institute)

• 50% of the population classified as deprived live in just 5 wards—Westbourne, Queens’ Park, Harrow Road, Church Street and Churchill
(Understanding Social Needs in Westminster –NPC Think Tank October 2012)

Income

• Westminster is in the 2nd worst borough in London for pay inequality with the lowest quartile earning £24 an hour less than the highest quartile. (London Poverty Profile 2013 – Trust for London)

• Church Street has the 4th lowest median household income of all the wards in London at £19,572 and Knightsbridge and Belgravia the highest at £91,552. (Greater London Authority experimental small area household income estimates analysis of results 2014)

Child Poverty

• In Westminster, 37% of children live in income-deprived households with 24% of children (9,000 children) living in severe child poverty, the fifth highest borough in the country. (Westminster Primary Care Trust Annual report 2012-13)

• The Child Wellbeing Index which looks at material wellbeing, health, education, crime, housing, environment, and children in need ranks Westminster 21st lowest out of 354 in England for child wellbeing. (Westminster Primary Care Trust Annual report 2012-13)

• Church Street is the worst ward in London for Child Poverty with 50% of children living below the poverty line. (London’s Poverty Profile – New Policy Institute)

• Westminster is the most deprived Lower Super Output Area in England based on Income Deprivation Affecting Children (Greater London Authority Intelligence Briefing 2010)

Health

• Queens Park, Church Street, Westbourne and Harrow Road are in the top ten wards in London for working age incapacity benefit claimants for mental health reasons. (Westminster Primary Care Trust Annual report 2012-13)

• Westminster has the biggest variation in life expectancy across the social gradient in the country with a man born in the most deprived area expecting to live 16.9 years less and a woman 9.7 years less than those born in the most affluent areas. This gap has widened over the past 5 years. (Westminster Primary Care Trust Annual report 2012-13)

Housing

• 30% of housing in Westminster is overcrowded as defined by the government, which is the third highest in the country, significantly higher than the figures for London and England averages at 17% and 7% respectively. (Understanding Social Needs in Westminster –NPC Think Tank October 2012)

• 80% of Westminster’s neighbourhoods are in the worst 10% for housing in England. (Understanding Social Needs in Westminster –NPC Think Tank October 2012)
• 25% of all rough sleepers in England are in Westminster. (Homeless Charity Connection at St Martin-in-the-Fields)

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