The State of Britain

Highgate and Edmonton are the wealthiest and poorest areas of the capital, productivity in London is high but the city’s productivity growth is very mixed

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The ONS has published average household disposal income estimates for England and Wales in 2018. The incomes shown are after tax and housing costs are taken off.  The analysis has shown that 87% of local areas had an average household income of between £22,500 and £39,200; within this over a third were between £28,000 and £33,600.

Of the 50 areas with the highest total incomes, 41 were in London, with the lowest incomes more widely spread geographically across England and Wales. The North East, East England, London, and the South East had no local areas in the bottom 50.

The wealthiest area in England and Wales was Mickleover in Derby with incomes of £52,200 and the poorest was Highfield North in Leicester with £12,500. The two areas are 30 miles from each other and ranked 7200 places apart.

The wealthiest area of the capital, which just pipped Kensington and Chelsea, was Highgate, with £51,600. This ranked the area 2nd out of the 7,201 areas recorded. The poorest area of London was the Edmonton area of Enfield with £18,300. This area was ranked 6,949 out of the 7,201 areas recorded.

Unlike most regions of the UK, output per hour in the capital is way above the UK average. Productivity in London was 32% above the norm which unsurprisingly ranked the city top in the UK. The SE and London record high levels of hours worked and their high productivity pulls up the UK average so much that all other regions fall below it.

The ONS has now released data for a longer period and at a subregional level. This gives further insight into London’s performance.

Perhaps the most useful is the 2018 results for the 44 enterprise regions in the UK which comprise the 38 English local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) and six enterprise regions in Scotland, Wales and the border regions.

The SE’s Thames Valley Berkshire LEP had the best productivity (in terms of hours and jobs) in 2018 at 35% above the UK average whereas the West Midland’s Black Country LEP at 24% below was the worst.

Eight of the 44 enterprise regions in the UK recorded productivity above the UK average; at +32%, London’s LEP was ranked second.

In terms of productivity growth between 2010 and 2018 the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP was top with growth of 16%. Twelve economic regions recorded productivity levels lower in 2018 than 2010. The worst performer was the SE’s Buckinghamshire Thames Valley LEP which saw productivity drop by 11%.

Productivity growth in the capital was +1.4%, which ranked London 28th.

All of the capital’s five subregions recorded productivity above the UK average. Inner London – West was top with +48%, with Outer London – East bottom in the city with +12%.

On districts, led by Tower Hamlets (+75%), nineteen of the London’s economic regions recorded productivity above the UK average. Only two dropped below the UK average, with Hackney and Newham recording the lowest productivity at -6%.

The growth in hours between 2010 and 2018 in Inner London – East was 37%, beating the capital’s other subregions, with Outer London – West and North West the lowest, recording 16%. In UK terms these levels of growth were in the top ten of the country’s 41 subregions.

If the increase in economic output is also factored in, then the sub regional performances are mixed. Outer London – West and North West was ranked 1st in the UK with growth of 12%, Inner London – West was placed 10th with growth of 10% and Outer London South was 26th with grown of 2%. In comparison, Outer London – East and North East was ranked 40th, only beating Inner London – East, which saw productivity decline by 10%, the most in the UK.

More data from the ONS showed unemployment in the capital was 3,000 higher at 224,000 between November and January; the slight uplift left the overall rate unchanged at 4.5%. Northern Ireland had the lowest rate of 2.4%, with the North East the highest at 6.2%, with the UK rate at 3.9%.

The South East had the highest employment rate at 80% which compared with 76% in London where 4.8m are employed; the UK rate was 76.5%.

London’s average property price decreased by 1.1% to £476,588, which took the annual increase to 1.4%. In comparison, UK prices decreased by 1.1% to £231,185 during January, an annual growth rate of 1.3%.