Community Focus: Poverty

Imagine having a family of four in London and trying to survive on income of less than £10 per person a day.

Imagine working full time and still never having enough money left over after your normal weekly expenses to go to the cinema or have a meal in a restaurant.

Imagine growing up in a household where your parents can’t afford your new school uniform at the beginning of the year, or where they are never able to send you on a school trip or buy your class photo.

For a third of the population of inner London and over half of children in inner London, no imagination is required. This is their everyday reality.

This is why the JLL adopted poverty as its current community focus in 2008.

Why Poverty?

Poverty presents a significant challenge: • 13 million people in the UK (c. 22% of the total population) live in poverty1
• The UK ranks 5th out of the 27 EU countries with the highest percentage of the population living in poverty
The problem is particularly acute in London: • London is the wealthiest region in the UK, yet has the highest rates of poverty for working-age adults, children and pensioners of any region in England3
• One third of all individuals and more than half of all children living in inner London live in poverty4
• To be considered living below the poverty line in London, a family of four has an income of less than £10 per person a day on which to survive5
Substantial evidence demonstrates that poverty is cyclical, locking successive generations into the trap of low incomes and social exclusion: • Educational attainment for poor children is significantly lower than for their wealthier peers: only 15% of young people whose parents work in unskilled jobs begin higher education, compared with 79% of young people whose parents come from a professional background6
• Low educational attainment leads to poor employment prospects: half of people aged 25-29 with no qualifications earn less than £6.50 an hour


3 Tom MacInnes and Peter Kenway, London’s Poverty Profile, City Parochial Foundation and
New Policy Institute, p. 19. Available at
4 Greater London Authority, Focus on London 2008, p. 81.
5 Tom MacInnes and Peter Kenway, London’s Poverty Profile, City Parochial Foundation and
6 New Policy Institute, p. 21. Available at
7 Social Exclusion Task Force, “Reaching Out: Progress on Social Exclusion,” 2007, p. 6.