Welcome to our Borough

Bursting with culture, energy, and opportunity, Waltham Forest is a fantastic place where people want to live, work and play.
We have developed new and innovative ways to build our communities, driven by culture and the innate creativity of our residents.
Waltham Forest Council will build on our successes and realise the huge potential of our people and the opportunities we face in this ambitious borough

About Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest is one of 32 London boroughs, bordering Hackney, Haringey, Enfield, Redbridge and Epping Forest District Council, in north-east London. Within the borough we have four main neighbourhood areas with a distinct identity: Chingford, Leyton, Leytonstone, and Walthamstow.

An estimated 278,400 residents call Waltham Forest home. Waltham Forest has a younger-than-average population with 24.5% of residents being aged 0 to 19 compared to 23% in London and 23% nationally. Like London, Waltham Forest also has a high proportion of working-age adults aged 16 to 64 (70.8% compared to 70% in London and 64.2% nationally). There are proportionately fewer people aged over 65 living in Waltham Forest (10%) compared to London (12%) and the UK average (18%).

We are one of the most diverse areas in the country a vibrant and strong sense of community. An estimated 53% of residents are from a minority ethnic background compared to 58% in London as a whole, there is also a relatively large range of incomes across Waltham Forest wards.

Waltham Forest full-time workers currently have a median income of £36,000. The London average is £37,500 and places Waltham Forest 19th out of 32 London boroughs. Working residents benefit from a higher income of nearly £4,500 than their counterparts in England (average of £31,500). Compared to ten years ago, income in Waltham Forest has grown by £9,000 (34%) in nominal terms.

Our Homes

  • There are around 110,000 homes in Waltham Forest with a projected growth of more than 35,000 over the next 15 years
  • 49 per cent of our properties are built pre-1919, this is in comparison with 22 per cent nationally.
  • 76 per cent of properties have an energy efficiency rating (EPC) of D or below
  • 41 per cent of homes are owner occupier; 37 per cent are privately rented; 22 per cent are social housing (of which around half is council-owned)

Our People

  • Almost half the children in our borough live in poverty (45 per cent). 75 per cent of these children live in a household where at least one person works
  • 21 per cent of households are living in fuel poverty, this is the third highest rate in London and seventh in England
  • 82 per cent of residents who answered the latest Resident Insight Survey indicated they feel strongly that they belong to Waltham Forest
  • 23 per cent of our 10 to11-year olds are overweight or obese
  • 6.6 per cent of adults suffer from diabetes. If current trends continue, this is predicted to rise to over 11 per cent by 2030

Our Borough

In 2023, our development programme continues to build on our successes, creating an even stronger Waltham Forest. Here are some of the fantastic opportunities coming up:

  • Developing a new lido, creating new job opportunities and leisure facilities for residents
  • Launch of the University of Portsmouth London Campus, bringing inclusive education to the heart of the borough
  • Levelling up funding confirmed to develop Leyton Tube Station and Walthamstow Town Centre
  • Opening Soho Theatre Walthamstow, bringing our historical theatre back to life
  • Working to become recognised as a Borough of Sanctuary, welcome those who need a safe home

Census 2021

The usual resident population of Waltham Forest on Census Day 2021 was 278,000. This compares to 258,000 at Census 2011, an increase of 20,000 (7.8%) over the ten-year period.

The increase in Waltham Forest’s population is only slightly above the increase across London (+7.7%)

Females made up 51% of the total population in Waltham Forest, and males made up 49%, which match the pattern across England and in London.

The age group of residents that increased the most since 2011 is 35-64, going up from 34% to 41% (115k) Waltham Forest in 2021 is a place where mature working adults are prevailing more than before.

Read the Census 2021 First Release Report 

  • The Office for National Statistics (ONS) census map allows you to explore the data in Waltham Forest.
  • You can also access the raw data explore Census 2021 data, which will allow you to explore Census 2021 data for different topics down to a local authority and neighbourhood level.