How does your borough rate?

Tower Hamlets. Pic: BBC

Tower Hamlets is the top place to live for young people in their mid-20s or younger out of the four London boroughs covered by EastLondonLines, according to a BBC survey. Hackney is close behind, while south of the river Croydon and Lewisham score less well.

The survey, conducted for BBC Radio One’s Newsbeat, analyses data from 378 local authorities and measures where is the best place to live if you’re under 26 years old.

It includes factors such as bus services, a good nightlife and even the local broadband speed. Rankings were created from data compiled from a variety of official sources such as the Food Standards Agency, Sport England and NHS Digital.  A poll of 1,038 16-24 year-olds was also conducted.

So how do the four London boroughs square up?


Croydon comes out on top if your phone signal is important to you, scoring a 10 for 4G. The borough also did well in mental health care and is above average for both bus services and sports facilities.

However, for those who enjoy a good night out, Croydon has scored a lonely 1/10, with just 42 bars, clubs and pubs being found. As to be expected in the thick of London, the borough only had 6% of land unused, again scoring just 1 on the Newsbeatscale.

Employment across the area isn’t the best, especially for young people. It’s been reported that 55 out of 1,000 under 26-year-olds are claiming welfare benefits.

“I wouldn’t agree with the ratings, I’d say there are better places to live in London for the same price. Although nowhere in London is good to live for rent and mental health.” said  Tom Hale, a Croydon resident.

Tower Hamlets

It seems that young people are happy to stick around in Tower Hamlets as 2,843 millennials moved into the area recently. Employment is also better for the young.  This rating is in contrast to findings from the Office for National Statistics, suggesting it is one of the worst areas for unemployment across London.

Rent scores just a 1/10 with the average room costing £808 per month.


If you need reliable public transport, Lewisham may be the place to go with 4,550 journeys per day covering 5428 square miles (8,736 square km)  which is good for inner-city life. 12% of the population is currently under 26- years- old with over 1,000 having moved into the borough recently.

However, the nightlife leaves a lot to be desired with just 73 venues across the borough.

“I’m stuck on the border between Lewisham and Croydon. I’m really lucky with my rent as it’s quite low for the area but it’s not exactly what you’d call cheap. I’ve got two train stations in walking distance to take me into central London and a tram stop opposite my house as well as buses. There’s a high street ten minutes away full of bars and two clubs but they’re not the best. Croydon itself says it’s a good nightlife but I wouldn’t say it is. You don’t exactly feel safe when you go out there.” said Samantha Baxter, Lewisham/Croydon resident.


Overall Hackney scores well, with most of the categories in the ‘better’ section. Unlike other boroughs, the area scores 9/10 for nightlife with 872 music venues and 200 pubs, clubs and bars. Hackney also scores high for buses, 4G, mental health care and sports facilitates.

Dragging the area down to an overall 6 is ‘wild land’ with just 1%. Wild land is considered to be the proportion of the area that is completely natural and not farmland or parks. Rents are also expensive, with the  average room costing £812 per month.

“I agree with the rating. I don’t really care about raw land as most people in Hackney rent as it’s in inner London. The area is really expensive to rent in but it comes with a lot of perks. I do think the council could do more to support young renters and nightlife by allowing more late night music licenses and capping rent. Hackney is a great place to live though, it has character, independent businesses and everything on your doorstep.” said  M.J.  Jones, Hackney resident.

The ratings found Croydon in last place with just an overall 4/10. Lewisham came third with 5/10 and hackney second with 6/10. First place went to Tower Hamlets with a rather impressive 7/10.

You can also check which area would best suit you and around with other places across the UK here.

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