Fewer babies born last year but birth rates vary across city

Baby handThe number of children born in London fell marginally last year to 127,399, a reduction of 0.7% on 2013.

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that the birth rate has fallen for a second year. The ONS uses a measure called GRF (general rate of fertility) to measure the number of births per 1,000 women in the 15-44 age group. The rate for the whole of London is 63.3, a little above the average for England of 62.2 and the third highest in the country.

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But the overall rate hides a large variation across the city. The birth rate in the inner London boroughs is 56.5, and the differences become starker when looked at on a borough-by-borough level.

London has a central core of 4 boroughs where the birth rate is much lower. In the City of London, Camden, Westminster and Islington rates are below 50 per 1000 women. But in several outer boroughs, notably Barking & Dagenham and Newham the rate is over 75. Barking & Dagenham has the 4th highest GFR in England.

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The proportion of births to mothers born outside the UK went up slightly to 27% nationally in 2014. This has increased every year since 1990 and has a particular impact in London where there is a large overseas-born population.

Source data

See also

London drives UK population growth

Younger workforce makes capital’s population pensioner poor

Booming population will struggle to find a place to live