Created 2 years ago, updated 2 years ago

About the dataset

This dataset uses information from the DWP benefit system to provide estimates of children living in poverty for wards in London. In order to be counted in this dataset, a family must have claimed Child Benefit and at least one other household benefit (Universal Credit, tax credits or Housing Benefit) during the year. The numbers are calibrated to the Households Below Average Income (HBAI) dataset used to provide the government's headline poverty statistics. The definition of relative low income is living in a household with equivalised* income Before Housing Costs (BHC) below 60% of contemporary national median income. The income measure includes contributions from earnings, state support and pensions.

Further detail on the estimates of dependent children living in relative low income, including alternative geographical breakdowns and additional variables, such as family type and work status are available from DWP's statistical tabulation tool Stat-Xplore. Minor adjustments to the data have been applied to guard against the identification of an individual claimants.

This dataset replaces the children in out-of-work benefit households and children in low income families local measure releases from DWP and HMRC.

This dataset includes estimates for all wards in London of numbers of dependent children living in relative low income families for each financial year from 2014/5 to the latest available (2019/20). The figures for the latest year are provisional and are subject to minor revision when the next dataset is released by DWP.


Number of children

The number of dependent children living in relative low income has increased in almost all wards across London, rising from below 310,000 in the financial year ending 2015 to over 420,000 in the financial year ending 2020 across London as a whole.

Proportion of children in each London ward

Ward population sizes vary across London, the age profile of that population also varies and both the size and make-up of the population can change over time, so in order to make more meaningful comparisons between wards or over time, rates have been calculated.

A dependent child is anyone aged under 16; or aged 16 to 19 in full-time non-advanced education or in unwaged government training. Ward level estimates for the total number of dependent children are not available, but ward level estimates by age have been published**. The estimates used to provide the rates given in this dataset are calculated by the GLA by adjusting the ONS mid year estimates for known over estimation of the number of children in London arising from the methods used to allocate international migrants. This particularly affects certain, mostly Inner London, wards. Rates are given for all children under 16 and for children under 18, as most children under 18 are in full-time non-advanced education.


*equivalised income is adjusted for household size and composition in order to compare living standards between households of different types.

** due to processing issues, age breakdowns for 2019/20 are not published, but have been estimated using the age profile from 2018/19.