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Older Londoners: the highs and lows of living in the Capital

In September 2023 Age UK London launched our report Older Londoners: the highs and lows of living in the Capital. 

The research was carried out by Think amongst over 1,000 older Londoners over the age of 60, it is the only comprehensive research carried out with people in this age bracket and provides an interesting view of life for older people lviing in London. 

The research various topics from Health and Wellbeing, Finance and Housing and shows the contrasts of living in the capital according to location, disabilities and ethnic background. 

Key findings include:

  1. The majority of older Londoners love life in the capital, and struggle to imagine living elsewhere. 59% of older Londoners feel positive about living in the city and only 5% feel negative. Participants perceive London as a vibrant ‘melting pot,’ that continues to keep them stimulated and helps them maintain active family and community relationships – areas they identify as vital for a positive experience of ageing.
  2. While older Londoners generally feel positive about the city, only 20% of all older Londoners agree that ‘London is a place where older people are valued’. This drops to an even lower proportion of those aged 60-64, where only 13% think London is a place where older people are valued. This spills into perceptions relating to employment with over 50% agreeing it is harder to get a new job or promotion as you get older.
  3. Older Londoners view health and wellbeing as the area that has the most impact on experiences of ageing. 93% of older Londoners feel that health and  wellbeing is important, and this research found that experiences of older age are much more challenging for those in poor health. However, 64% of older Londoners are satisfied with their health and wellbeing, suggesting a degree of unmet needs.
  4. Finances are another area which older Londoners report as being important to them where they also have relatively low levels of satisfaction: 79% say finances are important but 61% are satisfied with them.
  5. While housing is considered highly important, satisfaction in this area varies
    greatly across housing tenure. This reflects the high levels of home ownership amongst older Londoners, with 70% of older Londoners surveyed owning their home.Those in social or privately rented housing are far less likely to be satisfied with their housing. Only 40% of private renters are confident they will have somewhere suitable to live as they get older compared to 67% of total respondents.
  6. Intersecting inequalities, such as financial insecurity and poor health or disability, significantly impact attitudes and experiences of life in the capital. This impacts satisfaction with multiple aspects of life, including experiences of loneliness: 23% of older Londoners who have a disability or long-term health condition often feel lonely, compared with 12% of those who do not. 68% of those who own their own home and have a private pension are satisfied with their health and wellbeing compared to only 48% of those living solely on a state pension and in social housing.
  7. Location significantly impacts the experiences of older Londoners. Those living in outer London feel much more negatively about most aspects of life in the city, with just 52% feeling positive about living in the city overall. This is driven by local area dynamics such as public spaces, transport, and safety.
    Note on terminology: within this report, mention of ‘participants’ refers to findings generated from the qualitative phases, while mention of ‘older Londoners’ more broadly refers to findings from the representative quantitative survey.

Older Londoners Report

Download and read the report Older Londoners: highs and lows of living in the Capital here.