For a tenth of the people who live in London the debate about whether the UK should leave the EU has a very different dynamic. They are the 860,000 people from the 27 EU nations who live and work in the capital. For them the question is not about the future of the UK should it decide to leave, but whether a UK outside the EU would mean that many of them would have to go home if the UK restricted free movement of labour.
The most detailed guide to the various groups of EU nationals in London is the 2011 census which showed that there were 711,000 people living in the capital who were born in EU nations. The most recent population estimates show that this had grown to 860,000 by 2014.
The largest growth is in the so-called A2 nations, Romania and Bulgaria, who were allowed free access to work in the UK at the start of 2014. Between 2011 and 2014 their numbers went up by 60% to 116,000.
The countries from the old Eastern block, the so-called A8 nations, which includes Poland, experienced the lowest rate of growth of 10.5% between 2011 and 2014.
The core EU nations, including France, Germany, Italy and Spain, grew by 20%, driven largely by people coming from southern Europe, as previously reported by Urbs.
The Annual Population Survey does not break down population groups below 10,000 so there is no precise data for 9 of the EU nations. Of the remaining 18 only 2, Ireland and Germany have a lower population now than in 2011.
Romania is the country with the largest increase in numbers from 2011 to 2014, but the largest growth rate is in people from Latvia, up by 143% and Denmark, up 103%.
The largest groups of non-UK EU citizens in London are people from Poland and Ireland.
There are 178.000 Poles in London, up from 158,000 in 2011. Polish people have come to live and work across the UK and less than a quarter of them are based in London. The census shows that most have settled in Ealing, Haringey, Brent and Houslow.
The Irish also favour Ealing and Brent. There were 130,000 in London in 2011 but the most recent estimate is that has fallen to 100,000.
Romanians now make up the third largest EU group in London. Their numbers have swelled from 45,000 at the time of the census to 84,000 in 2014, when they were allowed to come to the UK freely to work. The census data shows that most were living in Brent, Harrow and Newham.
The fourth largest European group currently are Italians. The 2014 population survey showed there were 79,000 living in London compared to 62,000 at the time of the census in 2011. At that time there were more French people than Italians, 64,000 of them, but the French population has grown more gently since, to 72,000 in 2014.
After France and Italy the sixth largest population is from another core EU member, Germany. The 2014 survey indicates there are 52,000 in the capital, down from 55,000 in 2011.
Financial problems in Southern Europe lie behind the rise in migration from Spain and Greece. Both countries saw a rise in their populations in London between 2011 and 2014 with an increase of 8,000 Spaniards and 10,000 Greeks.
Lithuanians were the 9th largest group in 2014 and their numbers have gone up slightly since 2011. The much bigger growth from the Baltic states is people from Latvia. At the time of the 2011 census the largest portion of the 9,500 were in Newham, alongside the Lithuanians. There are now more than 24,000 Latvians in the capital.
Bulgarians, like Romanian were allowed to work freely in the UK from 2014. Their numbers have risen more modestly from 27,000 to 32,000. In 2011, the largest groups of Bulgarians were found in Haringey, Waltham Forest and Newham.
The Republic of Cyprus is an EU member so all Cypriots have EU status, including those from the north of the island, which is not controlled by the government. London’s Cypriot commnity is heavily concentrated in Enfield.
The Portuguese population has grown more modestly than other Southern Eurpeans countries since the census. In 2011 the population was focused around Stockwell in the borough of Lambeth.
Hungary was one of the A8 nations that gained EU membership in 2004. The UK allowed A8 nations immediate access to the work here. In 2011 there were just under 18,00o. That has risen by 4,000.
In 2011 the Dutch numberd around the same as the Hungarians. The population had grown to 19,000 by 2014.
The number of Danes in London has more than doubled since 2011, though they still only number 16,000. There used to be twice as many Swedes as Danes in London but the Danes now outnumber their fellow Scandinavians.
The Czech Republic has about twice the population of its former national bedfellow, Slovakia, but in London the Slovaks outnumber the Czechs. The data from the 2011 census shows they tend to live in the same neighbourhoods.
The Annual Population Survey doesn’t carry details on the smaller populations from the EU nations but from the census we can see how they were spread across London in 2011.