High housing costs in London leads to decline in birth rate


A new study by GMB London Region has shown a correlation between housing costs in London, and the number of births in the capital since 2010. The study has found that those living in boroughs with high housing costs are having less children than those where housing is more affordable.

In January 2018, the average house price in Kensington and Chelsea was £1,463,378. In the eight years since 2010, the number of a births per year in the borough decreased by 26.29%, from 2,221 to 1,637.

Other areas where this is occurring include Richmond Upon Thames which had an average house price of £639,200 in Januray 2018 and has seen a 22.79% decrease in the number of births since 2010; Lambeth where the average house price was £514,176, has seen a decrease of 20.53% in the birth rate; Westminster were the average house price was £1,116,111, has seen a decrease in birth rate of 17.95%; and Camden were the average house price was £859,593, saw birth rates decrease over eight years also by 17.95%.

Meanwhile, boroughs with lower average house prices have shown a smaller decrease in birth rates, and in some cases an increase. In Havering for example, the average housing price in 2018 was £365,934, while in the eight years from 2010, birth rates went up by 17.39% from 2,817 in 2010 to 3,307 in 2018. Other areas that saw an increased birth rate include Bexley, where houses prices averaged £340,598 whilst the birth rate increased by 1.27%. In Barking and Dagenham, which has the lowest average house price in January 2018, £292,915, the birth rate decreased by just 0.78%.

The figures covering 32 boroughs in London are set out in the table below, ranked by the largest decrease in birth rate between 2010 and 2018. This is from a new study by GMB London Region of official data for 32 boroughs in London. It compares the average house price from January 2018 by London boroughs, and shows the number of births in 2010 and in 2018 and the change as a percentage.