Unhealthiest boroughs of England and Wales REVEALED


Unhealthiest boroughs REVEALED: Interactive map shows how up to one in 10 people are in ‘bad health’ in parts of Liverpool… so how does YOUR area fare?

  • The 2021 census has revealed the unhealthiest areas of England and Wales 
  • London’s Tower Hamlets topped the list with 9.5% reporting being in poor health
  • This was over three times higher than proportion in the City of London borough
  • The nations healthiest area was Elmbridge in Surrey with 90% in good health

Tower Hamlets and Merthyr Tydfil were today crowned as the unhealthiest places in England and Wales.

Almost one in 10 people living in both boroughs report being in either ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’ health.

In contrast, just 2.8 per cent of residents living in the neighbouring, affluent areas of Wokingham and Hart confessed to being in ill health.

A fascinating interactive map — which MailOnline app users can see by clicking here — illustrate the huge divide in health.

The 10 UNHEALTHIEST rated areas for England and Wales

  1. Tower Hamlets and Merthyr Tydfil 9.5 per cent
  2. Blaenau Gwent 9.3 per cent
  3. Liverpool 9.2 per cent
  4. Knowsley 9 per cent
  5. Blackpool and Manchester 8.8 per cent
  6. Neath Port Talbot 8.5 per cent
  7.  Caerphilly 8.4 per cent
  8. Rhondda Cynon Taf 8.3 per cent 
  9. Middlesbrough, Nottingham, and Stoke-on-Trent 8 per cent
  10. Hartlepool, Halton, Hackney, and Islington 7.9 per cent

The 10 HEALTHIEST rated areas of England Wales

  1. Elmbridge 88.1 per cent
  2. Hart 87.9 per cent
  3. City of London 87.8 per cent
  4. Isles of Scilly, Waverly, Richmond upon Thames 87.6 per cent 
  5. Wokingham 87.5 per cent 
  6. Windsor and Maidenhead 87.4 per cent
  7. St Albans 87.2 per cent
  8. Mole Valley 87.1 per cent
  9. Uttlesford and Surrey Heath 87 per cent
  10. South Oxfordshire 86.9 per cent

Figures come from the Office for National Statistics, based on results from the 2021 census.

Respondents were asked to assess their general health as very good, good, fair, bad, or very bad.

Despite being the year when the UK battled the Covid pandemic, some 47.5 per cent of people across England and Wales reported their health as being very good.

This was an increase of 2.5 percentage points from the figure recorded in the census a decade ago.

Meanwhile, the percentage reporting being in poor health went into decline.

Overall, only 1.2 per cent of people reported being in very bad health, down from 1.4 per cent in the previous census.

And the proportion reporting their health as being bad also fell, from 4.7 per cent to 4.5 per cent.

However, there were regional differences.

People living in Tower Hamlets were more than three times as likely to say they were in poor health compared to those living in the City of London.

Other areas where Brits reported being in poor health were Blaenau Gwent in south Wales (9.3 per cent), followed by the city of Liverpool (9.2 per cent) and neighbouring borough Knowsley (9 per cent).

This chart shows the combined overall health ratings for England and Wales for both 2011 and 2021 censuses. It shows more Britons rated their health as ‘very good’ in 2021 (47.5 per cent) compared to a decade ago (45 per cent). This was met with declines in the proportion of Britons rating their health as very poor with only 1.2 per cent in 2021 doing so compared to 1.2 per cent in 2011

Mile End Road in Tower Hamlets. People in the London borough rated their health as among the worst in England and Wales with 9.5 per cent saying they were in bad or very bad condition

Mile End Road in Tower Hamlets. People in the London borough rated their health as among the worst in England and Wales with 9.5 per cent saying they were in bad or very bad condition

As did the residents of Merthyr Tydfil in Wales, with almost one in 10 people in this area also ranking their health as being bad

As did the residents of Merthyr Tydfil in Wales, with almost one in 10 people in this area also ranking their health as being bad

In contrast, the people of Hart ranked their health as being among the best in the nation, with 87.9 per cent of its denizens, like those in the village of Odiham (pictured), ranking their health as good or very good

In contrast, the people of Hart ranked their health as being among the best in the nation, with 87.9 per cent of its denizens, like those in the village of Odiham (pictured), ranking their health as good or very good

The people of Wokingham were also among the front runners in terms of being good health with 87.5 per cent rating it highly

The people of Wokingham were also among the front runners in terms of being good health with 87.5 per cent rating it highly

These were followed by Blackpool and Manchester, where 8.8 per cent of people reported being in poor health. 

By region the North East of England reported the highest proportion of Britons in very poor health, 1.6 per cent of the population. 

In comparison, the South East of England only recorded 0.6 per cent of its population as being in very bad health. 

And while Tower Hamlets did record the highest proportion of Britons in poor health, the 9.5 per cent figure was an improvement compared to 2011.

In that census the borough recorded that 12 per cent of the population was in ill health.

Overall, 81.7 per cent of people in England reported being in good health compared to only 79.1 per cent of their Welsh counterparts.

In terms of poor health, 5.1 per cent of people in England said they were in poor health, compared to 6.7 per cent of those in Wales. 

The ONS analysis does have limitations, firstly that it recorded people’s perception of their health, not the medical reality. 

ONS analysts also noted the fact the census was conducted during the Covid pandemic could have altered people’s perception of their health and influenced the results. 



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