We use cookies to give you the best experience. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our policy. how we use cookies and find out how you can change your browser’s cookie settings.
Skip to content

When using any of our statistics please reference Age UK London.

Population

There are 2.5 million people aged 50 or over living in London. Of this number, 1.1 million are aged over 65 and this is projected to increase by 86% in the next thirty years. This is a far quicker rate than younger age groups.[1]

There are 130,000 people aged over 85 in London, and that is expected to increase to 180,000 over 85 by 2024, which is a 38% increase in 10 years London’s population, like that of the rest of the UK, is getting older.

Diversity

London’s older population is diverse; for instance, of the 1.1 million Londoners aged 65+, 27% are from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. This figure rises to 39% among those aged 50-64.[2]

51% of Londoners aged 50-64 are female, a figure that rises among the over 65 bracket to 55%. This compares to 50% across the population of London as a whole.[3]

Opening Doors London estimate there are 100,000 older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in London.

Older Londoners are much more likely to be living with a long-term health condition that affects their daily life. 52% of those aged 65+ are disabled, as are 24% of people aged 50-64. This contrasts greatly with those under the age of 64 in London, for whom the figure is 9%.[4]

Older Londoners speak a broad range of languages and follow a wide variety of faiths and beliefs – 82% of those aged 65+ stated they followed a religion when asked. This figure falls to 75% among Londoners aged 50-64.

Economic Situation

Although London is the richest city in the UK, rates of pensioner poverty are far higher in the capital compared to the rest of England, with 19% of older Londoners living in poverty compared to 14 elsewhere.[5] With living costs in London continuing to rise there is reason to fear that poverty and inequality among older Londoners may increase.

Employment

Employment among Londoners between the ages of 50 and 64, is lower than among those aged 25-49. Although early retirement can account for some of this gap, on a national level, less than a third of those aged 50-64 who are out of work consider themselves retired. More worrying still, the majority of those who didn’t consider themselves retired felt it was unlikely they would ever work again.[6] That said, the employment rate among the 50+ age group is rising in London and is higher than the national level. The employment rate for those over the age of 65 is much lower than younger ages, although the rate of employment for this age group has increased throughout the last decade.[7]

The 2011 Census recorded that 19% of working Londoners were self-employed, with this figure rising to 36% among the 65+ age bracket.

Contribution of Older Londoners

The 2013 GLA report ‘The Economic Contribution of Older Londoners’ found that the paid work of those aged 50+ in London contributed £47 billion annually to London’s economy, which is a huge contribution to the capital. It also stated that Londoners aged 65+ contributed £6.3 billion annually to London’s economy through paid work, volunteering, as carers and looking after grandchildren. It is vital to highlight and celebrate the contribution made to active communities in the capital.

What can’t be captured by data are the experiences, knowledge, dynamism and energy that London’s older population brings to the city, all of which are an invaluable contribution to the capital.

London population by borough

Source: Census 2011

London Borough
Population 50+ 
%50+ 
% Female 50+ 
 % Male 50+
Population 65+ 
Barking and Dagenham 43,700  24% 54% 46% 19,200
Barnet 102,700 29% 54% 46% 47,400
Bexley 77,800 34% 54% 46% 47,900
Brent 77,800 25% 52% 48% 32,600
Bromley 108,200 35% 54% 46% 51,900
Camden 53,500 24% 53% 47% 24,100
City of London 2,400 32% 50% 50% 1,000
Croydon 103,500 29% 54% 46% 44,500
Ealing 86,100 25% 53% 46% 36,300
Enfield 86,600 28% 54% 46% 39,000
Greenwich 61,300 24% 53% 47% 26,000
Hackney        44,800 18% 52% 48% 17,300
Hammersmith and Fulham       38,900  21% 54% 46% 16,400
Haringey 55,900 22% 54% 46% 22,500
Harrow 73,900 31% 55% 45% 33,600
Havering      87,000 37% 54%  46% 42,400
Hillingdon     78,000 29% 52% 48% 35,200
Hounslow 64,500 25% 53% 47% 26,900
Islington      43,400 21% 53% 47% 18,100
Kensington and Chelsea 44,700 28% 54% 46% 19,300
Kingston upon Thames 45,800 29% 53% 47% 20,300
Lambeth 59,000 20% 53% 47% 23,100
Lewisham     63,300 23% 54% 56% 26,200
Merton 52,600 26% 54% 46% 23,200
Newham   54,500 18% 53% 47% 20,400
Redbridge 76,400 27% 54% 47% 33,400
Richmond upon Thames 57,100 31% 57% 43% 25,200
Southwark      58,500 20% 56% 44% 22,400
Sutton      60,000 32% 53% 47% 27,300
Tower Hamlets  39,100 15% 51% 49% 15,800
Waltham Forest     61,100 24% 54% 46% 25,600
Wandsworth    63,200 21% 54% 46% 27,100
Westminster    55,100    25% 52% 48% 24,400

Footnotes

[1] GLA City Intelligence Unit (2018) GLA Population and Household Projections. 

[2] GLA City Intelligence Unit (2018) GLA Population and Household Projections. 

[3] GLA City Intelligence Unit (2018) GLA Population and Household Projections.

[4] 2011 Census Table LC3101EWls

[5] Trust for London (2017) London’s poverty profile. 

[6] Department for Work and Pensions (2014) Fuller Working Lives - Background Evidence.

[7] ONS Annual Population Survey Jan-Dec 2010 and Jan 2015 – Dec 2017.