We track and analyse changes in our residents' employment, income and living costs. This helps us better understand their challenges and inform policy.

As the UK capital and one of the world's most vibrant cities, London leads progress in many areas. But it can be a challenging place for low-income Londoners to live thanks to the changing labour market and rising costs of living.

To better understand these issues and make our residents’ voices heard, we began publishing the Peabody Index in 2018.

We partner with the Learning & Work Institute who provide analysis of public datasets and identify trends for London and the UK. This analysis draws on data from a wide range of sources including the Labour Force Survey, Living Costs and Food Survey and Greater London Authority data.

We supplement the data with a telephone survey of our residents.

Our Peabody Index tracks the average household disposable income of London’s social housing residents, and the extent to which they are changing in response to developments in the labour market, cost of living and welfare policy.

Peabody Index, 14th edition - December 2023

We know that many of our residents are having to make difficult choices about how to cope with the rising costs. Nearly half have cut back on heating to save money over the last year. And over a quarter have gone without food because they couldn't afford it.  

The proportion of residents describing their household finances as either ‘healthy’ or ‘about ok’ is the lowest since we started the Index. And now, more of those surveyed described their household finances as ‘difficult’ than said they were doing ‘about ok’. Only 6 percent said their household finances were ‘healthy’.

Read the full index report

On 13 December, we launched our 14th edition of the Peabody Index. Learn more from our panelists:

  • Stephen Burns - Executive Director for Care, Inclusion & Communities, Peabody
  • Suse Weeks - Insight Manager - Peabody
  • Sahil Kahn - Director of Community Strategy, Partnerships and Funding, Peabody
  • Lemuel Unaji - Chief Executive Officer, Unaji & Co
  • Matthew Grenier - Business Development Director, HACT

Watch the video

Key findings

  • More residents described their finances as 'difficult' than 'ok'. And the majority said their household’s financial situation had got worse over the past year.


  • Almost a third of those surveyed have a household income of less than £20,000. That’s less than the amount that's widely accepted as what a household needs to reach an acceptable standard of living.

  • Most of those surveyed are in work and, of that group, 37 percent said they live in households earning less than £30,000.

  • Of those who are unemployed or in unpaid work, over half have a household income of less than £20,000. A large majority don’t have a financial safety net if things go wrong.

  • Health issues are the biggest barrier to improving residents’ career prospects or broader financial situation.

  • Many see changing careers as potentially destabilising, but that skills training, or other types of practical support could help them improve their career prospects.

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Peabody Index - December 2023

14th edition, December 2023

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Peabody Index Special Edition - December 2022

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Peabody Index - December 2022

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Peabody Index 11 Levelling Up London Concepts - March 2022

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Peabody Index 10 Triple Challenge For Low Income Londoners - October 2021

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Peabody Index 9 Tracking Pay And Employment - April 2021

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Peabody Index 8 Tracking Pay And Employment - February 2021

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Peabody Index 7 Tracking Pay And Employment - November 2020

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Peabody Index 6 Tracking Pay And Employment - September 2020

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Peabody Index 5 Tracking Pay And Employment - July 2020

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Peabody Index 4 Work Life Balance - March 2020

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Peabody Index 3 Employment And Disability Gap - September 2019

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Peabody Index 2 Tracking The Experience Of Low Income - February 2019

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Peabody Index 1 Tracking The Experience - June 2018

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Research & insights

Our residents' voices matter. We speak up for communities and highlight the challenges they face by developing strategic and local partnerships and engaging with policymakers.

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