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State of London report – June 2023 update

On Monday the 26th of June, the City Intelligence Unit (CIU) published the third version of its bi-annual State of London report. This report represents arguably the most comprehensive and authoritative evidence base for the economic and social realities experienced by London as a whole and Londoners of different backgrounds across a broad set of outcomes- from housing to health to poverty.

If one were to summarise the report’s findings in one sentence, it is that “While London outperformed the rest of the UK macroeconomically and continues to show resilience in avoiding a recession, social indicators reveal a series of challenges that continue to undermine the quality of life in the city- chief amongst them being income inequality, falling trust in important institutions, greater anxiety and lower satisfaction with life, and unaffordable housing”. In addition, the report noted the following key points:

  • While London’s economic growth outpaced the national average in 2021 and 2022, GLA Economics forecasts a slowdown during 2023 and 2024 despite the capital avoiding a recession.
  • The number of workforce jobs in London exceeded pre-pandemic levels by December 2021 and rose strongly throughout 2022, while both the employment and unemployment rates also increased during Q1 2023 compared to Q4 2022
  • Income inequality within London is stark, with the richest tenth of Londoners having almost 10 times the income of the poorest tenth (twice the ratio for the rest of the UK).
  • While bus and tube journeys in London both remain below pre-pandemic levels, transport demand has steadily risen during 2022 to reach its current levels, which have been steady during 2023. Moreover, recent travel and spending data points to a strong recovery in the Central Activities Zone (CAZ) over the past several months.
  • Londoners were most trusting of medical institutions. However, trust in these institutions had declined by February 2023. Meanwhile, trust was lowest for London media (17%), borough councils (20%) and the Metropolitan Police Service (21%).
  • Indices of wellbeing have lower values in London compared to England. After steep improvements in values at the start of this decade, the COVID-19 pandemic led to a spike in anxiety levels and a drop in levels of life satisfaction in London.
  • Healthy life expectancy (HLE) at birth continues to show substantial inequality across London, with a gap of more than 12 years lived in good health between the boroughs with the best and worst values.
  • The sharp growth in private rents for new tenancies has resulted in increasingly unaffordable rents in comparison to tenant incomes.

This work is the product of continuous research and analysis by CIU staff with specialist expertise across various domains. It forms the basis on which other analysis within and beyond CIU is performed, and hence we are delighted to have published it before the Mayor’s State of London Debate on Thursday, the 29th of June.

You can access the report on the London Datastore as well as the accompanying State of London dashboard.

If you have any comments on this work, please email