State of the Borough Report

We’ve published our first annual State of the Borough report to give a snapshot of what life is like in Camden, and to help us keep track of progress.

In March 2022, we published our borough-wide vision, We Make Camden and committed to publishing an annual State of the Borough report. 
In the report you’ll find data, evidence and stories of lived experience from people living in Camden. Alongside residents and partners, we’ll use this report to identify what needs to change and how we can make that change happen together. 
On this page are some key facts and figures. See the full report for much more.

Camden: a borough of diversity and contrasts

Camden covers almost 22 square kilometres in the heart of London and is changing all the time. The borough is becoming more diverse, but we face new economic and social challenges.

  • Camden’s latest census population estimate is 210,100, which suggests a drop in population since 2011 – but Covid-19 restrictions are thought to have had an impact on the estimate, and residents who left the borough during the pandemic are expected to return. 
  • 30.4% of people in Camden own their own home, fewer than the 32.9% in 2011
  • Camden is home to a more diverse mix of ethnicities in 2021 than 2011
  • 6.9% of Camden residents identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual or other, compared to 4.3% London-wide
  • 15% of Camden residents are disabled, above the 13.2% London-wide average, and below the 17.5% average for England 

The best start for children

Camden is an amazing place to grow up, to learn and to live, with all the great assets of a global city. But children and families face significant challenges, and we believe deepening inequalities are causing residents to leave Camden.

  • In Camden, almost one in three children live in poverty  
  • Camden school students do well at Key Stages 2 and 4, but not all students do the same. Gender, ethnicity, social class, and whether a child has Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) status all impact their outcomes.  
  • Just over half of children and young people with Education Health and Care plans are educated in mainstream schools and early years settings in Camden, slightly more than the national or London average  
  • Camden has lower rates of looked after children and child protection plans compared to Inner London boroughs.

A strong local economy

Camden has a great mix of big businesses, markets, high streets, cultural and creative makers, universities and large public sector institutions. But the share of working families who are living in poverty shows that the economy still isn’t delivering for many.

  • There are almost two jobs for every working age resident in Camden, with 24.3% more jobs in 2021 than 2008
  • Just 3.9% are unemployed in Camden – the lowest rate in inner London – but our proportion of workless households is higher than average
  • Wages are relatively high in the borough, but 75% of people in poverty are in working families – the third highest rate in Inner London
  • There is a big gap in income between the best and worst-off wards in Camden 

Safe and open community

People want to feel like the place they live is a safe, open and vibrant community, and places should feel tolerant and inclusive. While crime in Camden is declining and a sense of belonging is high, crimes targeting the most vulnerable may be rising.

  • 150 offences per 1000 people in 2012 to 101 per 1000 in 2021: crime in Camden is declining, but it’s still higher than in much of Inner London
  • Domestic abuse increased during the pandemic, but has slightly declined since
  • 1000 yearly reported hate crime incidents, more than reported in 2017
  • 85% of Camden residents feel that they belong and 82% are proud to live in Camden 

Good health and wellbeing

Good health and wellbeing are essential for people to live fulfilling, happy lives. We aim to reduce health inequalities by addressing the full range of drivers of health and wellbeing, including education, good work and the local environment.

  • At 87.7 years for women and 83.1 for men, life expectancy in Camden is high, but there are big gaps in different parts of the borough and for people with different backgrounds
  • People in Camden are less likely to smoke, and more likely to exercise and eat their 5-a-day than adults in other parts of the city and country  
  • 36.3% of people in Camden say they are lonely, compared to 23.7% across London, and people in our borough are less satisfied with their lives and more anxious  
  • Camden saw a 600% increase in food parcel distribution 2014 to 2022, mainly during the pandemic, a rate which outpaced London and England 

A place to call home

Living in safe and decent housing is an essential aspect of a good life – it provides basic needs such as shelter, warmth, safety and privacy. But like in most parts of London, many Camden residents struggle to find a secure home they can afford.

  • House prices in Camden are among the highest in the UK 
  • 666 people were found rough sleeping in Camden in 2021/22, with 399 of them moved into accommodation 
  • 9.5% of homes in Camden are overcrowded, less than the London average but more than twice as much as England and Wales 
  • 10% of households in Camden were considered ‘fuel poor’ in 2020, meaning that paying for the energy to keep their house warm put them below the poverty line

Green, clean and accessible

Tackling climate change has become an increasing priority. There needs to be a shift towards a ‘circular economy’, investing in biodiversity, protecting local parks and green spaces, and encouraging walking, cycling and public transport.

  • Camden’s CO2 emissions fell from 1800 kilotons per year to 800 kilotons per year
  • 7.2% of deaths in Camden are linked to air pollution, similar to the London-wide rate but higher than across England
  • Camden is currently ranked 4th compared to other London boroughs in its efforts to deliver Healthy Streets 
  • 84% of people in Camden walk or cycle at least once a month, compared to 82% across inner London and 78% in England
  • Camden has many parks and green spaces but they aren’t spread evenly across the borough, and relatively high tree cover is concentrated in northern areas

Looking at inequalities

Camden’s diversity is a huge asset. But in a diverse community, problems affect different groups very differently. In creating the state of the borough report, we learned a lot about this kind of inequality across gender, age and ethnic groups.

It’s also important to highlight that we’ve uncovered big gaps in our knowledge in this area. If we are to achieve our ambitions for all of Camden’s residents, we need data that addresses these inequalities. Currently, such data is only available for 2011 housing tenure, education outcomes, and free school meals. 

  • The wage gap between men and women is over £5000 annually
  • Home ownership is highest among 65+ year olds
  • Overcrowding is almost 5 times more likely for Black and Asian households compared with white
  • People who identify as Black or of mixed ethnicity are 3 times more likely than White people to experience food insecurity, meaning not having access to enough food or food of good enough quality 

Measuring change

If you have any ideas about the report or how we could improve it in future years, please let us know. 

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