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Dataviz: where do London students live vs. how much they pay

Some disturbing statistics were released this month and show that London is, more than ever, an expensive city to live in.
The average rent in the capital is now more than £1,100, beating the national average rent which stands at £743. This new peak is the second highest price since the 2008 crisis, and pairs with a 10% rise of housing prices this year.

For students, these figures can be scary. They are not known for being the richest fringe of the population, and the cost of the studies, transports and everyday life add to housing prices. We will try to identify the mainstream trends in student housing by comparing different variables with the help of a map.

We will consider this map as a superposition of three variables:

  1. the percentage of students by postcode,
  2. the average rent in the given postcodes,
  3. and the proximity of universities.

A closer look to some areas can be insightful.


Southwark, for example, shows a peculiar situation: although this south bank area has six universities at walking distance, the average is only £108 pw. Mathematically, many students live here: the area is ranked #3 of our ranking, with 5,4% of the London students.

South Hyde Park

This West London area shows the contrary. Although the Imperial College is close, only four and not so famous universities dwell nearby. Moreover, the average rent is approximately £145 pw. These three postcodes rank in the bottom-10 of our most popular postcodes for students ranking.


This is an example of a critical situation for students. Almost 10 universities are available in this neighbourhood, located in Central. This area host approximately 25% of the London students, despite rents between £150 and £250 pw

A study, conveyed during the Summer 2013, adds to the drama some precise figures. The website surveyed students to find that London students pay an average rent of £567 per month, more than double the price a Cardiff student would pay (£250).
54% of the students say they have seen a rise in their rent in the last year. Students are also forced to change their lifestyle and accommodation. Finally, 28% have less money to spend on their social life.
UK is the3rd most expensive country in the world to study in, after Australia, 1st, and the US, 2nd (HSBC study).

Percentage of students by postcode source: Housing data from London University - 2011
Average rate for a single room source: London Rents (official gov website)
Data available to download (.ods) : 50 most popular postcodes and their average 2012 rent - 60 London universities
The map was generated with CartoDB.