A different way of mapping your whereabouts in London

High panorama-2As a city, London is a collection of well-established and distinct neighbourhoods, familiar to taxi drivers and residents alike.  The borough structure of Greater London gives a further set of boundaries, some less recognised than others.

Much of the information about the city is collated at borough level but there can be wide variations across London and within boroughs, as is often reported here on Urbs.London.

Future Cities Catapult, a government supported organisation working on urban innovation and development, got together with the GLA to come up with a new way of looking at city boundaries, not based on geography, but by grouping neighbourhoods according to the people and how the live there.

Using 235 datasets from the GLA Datastore, Land Registry, TFL, ONS and others, it has developed 8 clusters that it calls ‘Whereabouts’.  These are spread across the city and not confined by geographical boundaries, linking similar communities in different parts of the capital.

Whereabouts map-2

Whereabouts London map by Future Cities Catapult

Whereabouts key-2

Future Cities Catapult says that re-imagining the city in this way may aid local authorities to work co-operatively or help transport providers to improve their services.

To check your whereabouts go to http://whereaboutslondon.org/#/map

See also

Mapping Londoners

5 more boroughs will have a majority of BAME population in next 20 years

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Mapping Londoners: Born in Norway

Norway has a population of around 5.1 million, that’s same as the outer London boroughs, so it is hardly surprising that with a relatively small population few are found in London.

According to the last census in 2011 there are 5,385 people born in Norway who are resident in capital. They are the smallest Scandinavian group, with Swedes outnumbering them 3:1.

As with other Scandinavian nationalities, Westminster is the most popular place to live. The other large group is clustered in Wandsworth and Merton. Apart from that, a semi-circle of central London boroughs from Kensington and Chelsea to Tower Hamlets have the most Norwegian residents.

With such a small group there is no estimate from the Annual Population Survey for how the numbers may have changed since the 2011 census.

Source data


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Poles and Pakistanis help shape the multi-cultural make up of the city

crowd zoom b&WThe capital’s migrant mix is shifting once more but it is not just the much reported arrival of people from Eastern Europe that is changing the multi-cultural face of the city. Data from the latest population survey carried out by the Office for National Statistics shows that South Asia and Southern Europe play a significant part too.

The biggest growth in numbers is in the Pakistani and Polish communities. Both have increased by 38,000 between 2011 and last year. Romanians, who were allowed access to work in the UK from the start of 2014, increased by 79% on 2011.

People born in India are the largest non-British group in the capital and their numbers grew by 12% over the period.

But the data also shows the Italian born population has grown by 27,000 and there are 16,000 more Spaniards. That’s an increase of more than 50% for both nationalities.

The biggest rate of growth was for Latvian’s, up 140% but numbers remain small and that high percentage represented 14,000 people.

Pop top 10

In contrast, large numbers of South Africans, Bangladeshis, Chinese and Nigerians have left London. The survey does not tell us how many returned to their country of birth and how many did what many UK born Londoners do – move to another part of the country.

Pop decline 10

The survey spoke to 27,000 people in London and more than 300,000 across the UK. The ONS warns that it is not as robust as the data in last census in 2011, and Urbs has written extensively on population profiles based on that data, but it provides the best estimates of how populations are shifting since 2011.

By comparing London and UK-wide data it is possible to identify the communities who are concentrated in the capital and those who are more dispersed across the UK.

The most London-centric group is from Ecuador. There are 14,000 in the capital; that’s 96% of the UK population. 79% of the people in the UK from the troubled Balkan state of Kosovo are in London.

But it is not just newer migrant groups that favour the capital. Ghana has a long relationship with the UK dating back through colonial times yet nearly three quarters of Ghanaian-born people in the UK are resident in London.

Pop Lon centric

In contrast, a small proportion of the small group of Slovakians in the country has chosen London. Germans seem to be widely dispersed around the UK, as do Chinese and people born in Zimbabwe.

Pop dispersed

Source data

See also

Mapping Londoners

London is more diverse than the UN or Fifa

Schools data reveals ethnic mix with fall in proportion of white British pupils






Mapping Londoners: Born in Lithuania

The enlargement of the EU in 2004 gave a number of countries in the former Eastern Bloc freedom of movement across Europe, including to the UK. 3 countries that had been part of the Soviet Union were now in the EU – the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

It was the Lithuanians who most readily made London their home. There are 40,000 Lithuanian born Londoners, compared to around 10,000 Latvians and fewer than 3,000 Estonians.

Lithuanians are strongly concentrated in East London, especially Newham where there are more than 8,000. Waltham Forest, Redbridge and Barking and Dagenham also have significant populations.

Born in Lithuania

Source data

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Mapping Londoners: Born in Kenya

Kenyan-born Londoners are the third largest group from Africa. There are 64,000 in the capital, far fewer than the 114,00 Nigerians, but only a little behind the 65,000 Somalis.

Figures from the last census show that Kenyans are strongly concentrated in the North West of London, especially Harrow where there are nearly 12,000.

Many Kenyan-born Londoners are ethnically South Asian and were forced to leave the country in the 1960s and 70s, as they were from Uganda.

Born in Kenya

Source data

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Mapping Londoners: Born in Italy

London doesn’t have a Little Italy to match New York but the south west area of Clerkenwell was the historic Italian neighbourhood of city and called Italian Hill or Italian Quarter.

When Italians starting settling in the area in the 19th century is was better known for thieves and pickpockets and featured in Dickens’ Oliver Twist.

Clerkenwell is part of Islington borough which along with neighbouring Camden is still home to a significant Italian born population. But more are found further west. Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea have the most with near identical numbers of Italian-born residents at a little over 4,000 each.

The last census shows that there are 62,000 Italian born Londoners and 63% are in inner city neighbourhoods.

Born in Italy

Source data

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Younger workforce makes capital’s population pensioner poor

Feeding the birds in St James' Park: © Vicki Vale | Dreamstime.com

Feeding birds in St James’ Park: © Vicki Vale | Dreamstime.com

London has a smaller proportion of over 65s than the rest of the UK. The high level of people at working age, and fractionally more children, mean that only 11.4% of the people in London are pensioners. In comparison, 17.9% of the UK population is over 65.

Over 65 graph

The low propotion of elderly people is even more marked in some central and eastern boroughs. Just 6% of the people in Tower Hamlets are over 65. As reported by Urbs, Tower Hamlets has the youngest population in London. The boroughs of Newham and Hackney are not far behind in their balance of young over old.

over 65 map

With the exception of the City of London, a higher proportion of older Londoners are found in the outer boroughs. Bexley and Bromley are both in line with the national average. Only Havering has a higher proportion.

Source data

See also

Go east young man – it’s where young London lives


London drives UK population growth

hLondon was responsible for nearly half the population growth in the UK last year.  In  2014 the UK grew by 1.08 million people to 63.7 million.  487,000 of them were in London, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.  In 2013 and 2012 London made up just 20% of UK population increase.

The growth in both London and the UK more widely is partly made up of people born outside the UK.  In London they accounted for half the growth – that’s 244,000 extra people.

Pop born outside Uk change 2 map

A high proportion of those born outside the UK are settled in three London boroughs, 52,000 in Newham, 44,000 in Brent and 23,000 in Haringey.


While half of the additional population for 2013-14 in London was born outside the UK a smaller proportion are non-British, 43%.  In the rest of the UK the proportions not born in Britain and holding other nationalities is closer – 48% and 46% of new arrivals in 2013-14.

The total population of London in 2014 was 8.45 million.  Of that, 3 million were born outside the UK and 1.9 million are non-British.

Pop born outside UK 2 map

Source data