Young People’s Capital of the World?

Working in partnership with London Youth, we reveal that a growing population, a huge reduction in funding for youth services and pressures on housing and communities have all left young Londoners concerned for their futures within the capital.

Informed by interviews between young people and their peers in five London boroughs, and supplemented by further insights from youth professionals and analysis of data on how London is changing, this report sets out the challenges young Londoners face.

Young Londoners under pressure

  • Pressure on services: London’s youth population is growing an almost unprecedented rate, and at the same time funding for services aimed at giving them support and opportunity outside school have been drastically reduced. The shift towards supporting only the most vulnerable means that many young people may be missing out.
  • Cost of living and housing: far too many young Londoners are growing up in families facing poverty or struggling to meet the high cost of living in the capital. Young people feel excluded from the changes that are taking place in their communities, and are pessimistic about their chances of ever getting their own place.
  • Wellbeing and the environment: young Londoners are acutely aware that these pressures can sometimes make London a hard place to grow up and are concerned about basic access to outside space and clean air. Mental health and obesity continue to remain major concerns for our youth population.

The report recognises the multiple pressures and demands on London, but goes on to propose a series of positive steps.

Among the 8 recommendations, the report argues for:

  • The Mayor to challenge London’s local authorities to set out clear plans for how they will work with others to support young people, and involve young Londoners in shaping those services.
  • Young people to have a much bigger say in shaping their communities, through better consultation and planning, involving community organisations and reaching out to young people who might otherwise miss out on the benefits of regeneration.
  • Better collaboration between funders – statutory, voluntary and private – to look at London’s changing needs and direct resources accordingly; and with a preference for services that are open to all young people, and not just targeting those who are in higher need.


The publication was produced in partnership with London Youth, with generous support from