Money Wellness
Old woman warming her hands over an electric heater
category iconbenefits
category iconcost of living
calendar icon16 Oct 2023

A quarter of older people in London living in poverty

Nearly a quarter (24%) of over-50s in London are living in poverty, according to a new report.

Research by Age UK London shows the proportion rises to nearly a half (46%) when it comes to older people living in social housing in the capital.

Across the rest of England, 19% of people aged 50 and above are living in poverty.

Why is the situation worse in London?

The difference can be explained by a number of factors, according to Age UK London:

  • Renting is more common in the capital.
  • There is a higher proportion of BAME older people in London and they experience higher rates of poverty due to structural racism.
  • There is a higher proportion of LGBTQ+ people in London and they experience higher rates of poverty due to discrimination and other structural inequalities.

Single pensioners hit harder

When it comes to pensioners, the report found single pensioners in London are more likely to be living in poverty than those with a partner.

While 18% of pensioners with a partner are living in poverty, this soars to 30% among single pensioners.

Struggling people share their experiences

Age UK London spoke to people who are struggling to manage.

Sally said:

“My mind drifts back to my childhood when there was ice on the inside of the windows and very little food on the table and I’m beginning to understand what an extremely hard life my mother must have had. I never imagined I would be experiencing similar conditions 70+ years later.”

Jane commented:

“The cost of living is worrying to old people and there is nothing you can do about it. If you are poor and everything is going up, it is really scary.”

Abdul explained:

“I’m genuinely scared. I am disabled with a few other ailments, and I can’t put the heating on at home, unless I’m going to have a bath, and never before 6pm.”

Call for action

Age UK London are calling for various measures to be introduced to help reduce poverty among the over 50s in the capital.

Key among these recommendations is making sure everyone who is entitled to pension credit is getting it.

An estimated £246.5m of pension credit goes unclaimed in London every year.

Could you be missing out on pension credit?

If you think you could be missing out on pension credit, why not try our benefits calculator. You might find out you’re entitled to other benefits too.

And if you need help with the calculator, we’ll be happy to go through it with you over the phone. You can call us on 0161 518 8285. We’re here Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and over the weekend between 10am and 4pm.

Avatar of Rebecca Routledge

Rebecca Routledge

A qualified journalist for over 15 years with a background in financial services. Rebecca is Money Wellness’s consumer champion, helping you improve your financial wellbeing by providing information on everything from income maximisation to budgeting and saving tips.

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