Identify your hell-no! London areas.

In good old British fashion, let’s now dive into the depressing. Here’s how to eliminate London areas you may not want to spend your life in:

Have a look at these deprivation maps (their term, not mine!), generated by The Guardian.

To orientate yourself: zoom out one level, and hit “satellite” in the upper right corner – it’s much easier to see the Thames and labels that way. The word “London” is written across the center of town (Trafalgar Square / Charing Cross area). Blue is good (if not always the most exciting), especially for families. Of course there are nice areas in the yellows too – but just be aware. Probably avoid the reds.

[I’m making the big assumption here that you are looking to avoid the most deprived areas of the city, at least if with school-age children. One reason is the correlation between low school test scores at age 15 and poverty. Many exceptions, of course.]

Check this profile of London’s boroughs, from income to education. But it’s not that simple – while the Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames (SW London) really is rich, the Borough of Haringey (North London) is a complete mix; if you are interested in the latter, you’ll have to dig down deeper to the area level. More information on London’s income inequality available here.

Optional: Other fun and uplifting maps to look at. Enjoy.

  • Murder map: Murders since 1888, by weapon, with description of the cases. Maybe you don’t want to move to London after all?


In a nutshell, the London clock runs like this:

  • 12 – 3 o’clock (North to East): Choose carefully, or go far out of town. Parts of the East are very hip nowadays, and the start-up scene mingles here. But it also encompasses some of the most deprived areas of London.
  • 3 – 6 o’clock (East to South): Mixed bag if you are close to the centre, leafy once you get further out.
  • 6 – 9 o’clock (South to West): This quarter of the pie contains many well-off areas. A few unsavoury neighbourhoods in the 6 – 7 o’clock slice close to the centre.
  •  9 – 12 o’clock (West to North): Choose with care from in the 9 – 11o’clock slice, well-offs mingle between 11-12 o’clock.

On a side note – yes, be careful, but don’t panic. There is very little gun crime in the UK. A walk through the wrong neighbourhood at night could be unpleasant and involve you ‘losing’ your bag. But you are extremely unlikely to be caught in gang crossfire.

No idea what this is, but I'd rather not be on the other side of that fence...

No idea what this is, but I’d rather not be on the other side of that fence…

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