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Distant Neighbours: Poverty and Inequality in Islington

Distant Neighbours uncovers people’s everyday experiences of poverty and inequality in Islington, and examines what can be done about it.

It explores:

  • How life has changed for Islington’s lower income residents since the publication of Invisible Islington in 2008 and during a period of economic uncertainty, public sector cuts and welfare reform
  • What inequality looks like in Islington, how people experience it and what the consequences are for all of us
  • How current trends will continue into the future and what Islington might look like in 2020
  • What can be done locally to address poverty and inequality


Many of the issues identified are consistent with our earlier research – debt, unemployment, mental and physical ill health, social isolation. But five years on, the findings reveal low income residents in Islington are under more pressure than ever. Residents living on low incomes told us that they feel an everyday sense of insecurity and lack of control over their lives. Some fear destitution.

Alongside deepening poverty, inequality is stark in Islington. Islington is fast becoming a place where middle-income families can no longer afford to live. It is instead characterised by wealthy families living in owner occupied properties and low income families living in social housing. Though they live close by, often on the same street, higher and lower income residents live different and separate lives. They are distant neighbours.

The research was undertaken between November 2012 and June 2013. It involved in-depth interviews with low income and high income residents, consultation with professionals in the local statutory and voluntary sectors, and statistical data analysis.


We published a ‘How We Will Respond’ report to show how we will act on the research findings.

Download this here

We welcome opportunities to work collaboratively to tackle the issues raised by the research. You can find out more about our approach to working in partnership by following the related link below.