Our Quality of Life work

The LSDC's Quality of Life work is designed to help answer the question, “How do we know if London is making progress towards becoming a sustainable world city?” It does this by producing a series of 'Quality of Life Indicators' reports.


For the LSDC, sustainable development is about creating a better quality of life for everyone, now and in the future. In practice, achieving a better quality of life is about:

  • having access to quality education, jobs, services, housing and leisure
  • living in an environment which is healthy, resilient and stable now and in the future
  • living and working within a society which is democratic, just, engaged, diverse, responsible, supportive and vibrant

Knowing how London is tracking in terms of sustainable development is key to identifying where and how improvements can be made to improve quality of life. The LSDC produced the first Quality of Life Indicators report in 2004, and subsequent reports were produced in 2005, 2009, 2012 and most recently, 2017. The reports provide baseline data that informs the LSDC’s work and advice for the Mayor.

The reports include headline indicators across London’s environment, society and economy – enabling the identification of trends that cut across these three spheres of sustainability, alongside any movement in specific indicators. 

Our latest Quality of Life Indicators report

Quality of life report thumbnail
Read the 2017 Summary report

Read the 2017 Full Evidence report

The LSDC’s fifth Quality of Life Indicators report draws on existing datasets to examine 32 key indicators to gauge progress for people living in the capital. This provides evidence to help guide decision-makers in taking the actions needed to improve the quality of life of all Londoners present and future, and to help the city play its full role in meeting global sustainability goals.

Headlines from the 2017 report

  • Many indicators are heading in the right direction, with positive stories in areas such as public transport use, economic productivity and volunteering
  • More work remains to be done in key areas to ensure that London becomes a truly sustainable megacity fit for the challenges of the 21st century
  • Increasing social inequalities in London are highlighted by the widening gap in educational outcomes, access to affordable housing, and a continuing and growing gulf between the financial haves and have-nots
  • The LSDC identifies areas in which the trends are positive but where questions remain about the scale and pace of change, including of the city’s carbon emissions

The indicators the report presents are the responsibility of a range of organisations and bodies across London, including the Mayor, boroughs, business, central government and others in the private and public sectors.

The report provides baseline data that inform the LSDC’s work programme and advice for the Mayor. The LSDC updates the indicators at intervals and explores ways to enrich and deepen existing datasets.

Further information

The indicator set is also held on London Datastore, a free and open data-sharing portal where anyone can access data relating to the capital.

Read the press release about the report, which includes a quote from the Mayor of London about the indicators.

Our previous Quality of Life Indicators reports

Read our previous Quality of Life Indicators reports:

Next steps

The LSDC is currently exploring ways to align the QoL indicators more closely with the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals. These are a set of 17 goals to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Countries, including the UK, adopted them as part of the UN's '2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development'. Achieving the SDGs will require action by everyone: government, the private sector and civil society.

The LSDC will also explore young Londoners' views on key environmental, social and economic issues, and how these relate to the SDGs.

Share this page