Maps have always been a powerful way of highlighting London’s social inequalities (Charles Booth‘s and John Snow‘s are the most iconic examples of this) and they continue to show how the richest and poorest Londoners often live side by side. As the BBC’s “The Secret History of Our Streets” has demonstrated, stark inequalities in the wealth and health of Londoners have existed for centuries and, sadly, persist to the present day. A popular way of describing some of the inequalities is to use the analogy that a year in life expectancy is lost for every station eastbound on the Jubilee Line between Westminster and Canning Town. Since first hearing this a few years ago I have wanted to make a map for the rest of the Transport for London network. I have finally done this and you can view the interactive version here and read a more in depth article in the journal Environment and Planning A.
The map shows two key statistics: 1) the life expectancy at birth of those living around each London Underground, London Overground and Docklands Light Railway (DLR) station and 2) the rank of each London ward on the spectrum of Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI). The inclusion of the IDACI rank highlights the linkage between deprivation and life expectancy, which is especially poignant in this context as it demonstrates that, without significant social change (obviously, if the social composition of London changes radically then the life expectancies at each station will change with it), the fates of many children living in the poorest parts of London are seemingly already sealed.
Whilst the average life expectancy predictions show that today’s children are expected to live longer, the range is startling. For the stations mapped, it is over 20 years with those around Star Lane (on the DLR) predicted to live, on average, for 75.3 years in contrast to 96.38 years for those around Oxford Circus. The smaller disparities are no less striking. For example,