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Levelling up London: Improving London to meet the aspirations, needs, and rights of young people

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

This report looks at the relationship between the levelling up agenda and young Londoners. It does so in four key parts. The first part looks at the levelling up agenda, and what the challenges are for London. The second part looks at the cost of living crisis in London, and the impact that is having on young people and their wellbeing. The third part examines the aspirations that Londoners have, for their city and themselves. Lastly, we look at young people are involved in decision making, with a focus on 2022's Local Elections in London.


To download the full report please click here


Some of the key findings:

  1. Over half (54.9%) of young Londoners had not heard the term levelling up before. When we asked how well they understood what levelling up actually meant, we found that over a third (35.2%) had either no understanding or a very weak understanding or the term.

  2. Housing was ranked as the most important issue for young Londoners, followed by the cost of living, and mental and physical health. Youth service provision was ranked as least important.

  3. More than half of young Londoners (58.1%) want to continue to live in London in the future. However, only one in four (26.4%) young Londoners said that feel like they will be able to because it will be unaffordable.

  4. Young people are experiencing a cost of living crisis. The overwhelming majority of young Londoners (95.1%) agree or strongly agree that there is a cost-of-living crisis in London.

  5. Young Londoners are very critical of the Levelling Up White Paper's "left behind" areas formula. A formula designed by them includes important data like poverty, and considers the impact of the cost of living.

  6. Loneliness, especially post-Covid, is a real challenge for young Londoners. Almost four out of five (78.1%) young Londoners said that they felt lonely at least sometimes, with one in ten (10.5%) feeling lonely all of the time.

  7. The improvement young Londoners most wanted to see for their city was more affordable places for food and drinks (51.6%), followed by safe streets (49.8%), an improved environment, pollution and more green spaces (44.7%), and better employment opportunities (42.7%).

  8. Young Londoners were most likely to want to work in the arts, entertainment, or recreation sector (54.6%), followed by professional, real estate, scientific and technical activities (39.8%), education (32.4%), information and communication (30.6%), and health (24.6%).

  9. A majority (65.4%) of young Londoners do not feel like their voice is listened to, however almost nine out of ten (88.4%) at least agreed or strongly agreed that young Londoners should be more involved in decision making.

  10. Local election manifestos from political parties are often the responsibility of a political assistants with little capacity for local engagment outside of party membership. They are reliant on organisations to lobby them, but often this lobbying is aimed at election time and is too late to influence manifestos.


Partnership for Young London: Matthew Walsham (matthew.walsham@cityoflondon.gov.uk)

With thanks to Marie Colangelo


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