Census health data show stark variations across London in 2021

Census health data show stark variations across London in 2021

New data from the 2021 national Census released last week has shed fresh light on the variations in the general health of Londoners in different parts of the Greater London area.

The figures, incorporated into the digital map created by the Office for National Statistics, show significantly higher percentages of adult Londoners who described their general health as “very good” in some boroughs than in others.

The highest figure of all by this measure was found in Kensington & Chelsea at 58 per cent followed by Richmond with 57.6 per cent and Hammersmith & Fulham with 53.8 per cent. Seven more boroughs topped the 50 per cent level: Barnet, Bromley, Camden, Merton, Kingston, Wandsworth and Westminster. The City of London, which has a very small resident population, scored 56.6 per cent.

The majority of boroughs recorded levels of between between 45 and 50 per cent but three fell below that, all in the east of the capital: Barking & Dagenham (43.3 per cent), Newham (42.9 per cent) and Tower Hamlets (42.5 per cent).

The Census form provided five options for people in England and Wales to characterise their general health: very good, good, fair, bad and very bad.

The figure for “very bad” in the vast majority of the 32 boroughs was between one and two percent, but fell just below one percent in Richmond, Kingston and Bromley and reached two per cent and above in Newham (two percent exactly), Hackney (2.2 per cent) and Tower Hamlets (2.5 per cent). For the City of London the figure in this category was the lowest of all London’s 33 local authority areas at just 0.7 per cent.

The “very good” general health proportion in Kensington & Chelsea (58 per cent) and the “very bad” figure for Tower Hamlets (2.5 per cent) were respectively the highest recorded in any local authority area in England and Wales.

The health data also provides a picture of disability among adult Londoners, with between 10 and 20 per cent of them in every local authority area defining themselves as “disabled under the Equality Act” for “day-to-day activities” either “a little” or “a lot”. The exceptions were Tower Hamlets (21 per cent) and Islington (24 per cent). The figure for “a lot” was generally a little lower than that for “a little”.

Overall London had the lowest proportion of disabled people in England and Wales at 15.7 per cent. The highest, at 21.2 per cent, was in the North East of England.

The health data release also includes figures about levels of unpaid care. Previous Census data releases have covered demography and migration, UK armed forces veterans, housing, sexual orientation and gender identity, education, labour market and travel to work habits, and ethnic group, national identity and religion.

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