New workers stick together and head north of river as they settle in the capital

Larger numbers of new overseas workers coming to the capital are settling north of the river than south with Newham and Brent as the favourite destinations.

334,419 people from overseas registered for a National Insurance number, allowing them to work or claim benefits, in the financial year 2014/15. More than 50,000 are in Newham and Brent, but there are more than 10,000 in 13 of the 20 boroughs north of the river.

The City of London has the highest rate as a proportion of the working age population, but the numbers are small. Newham and Brent stand out clearly, and the top 10 are all north of the river areas.

NI top 10 boroughs

In contrast, 8 of the 10 boroughs with the lowest proportions are south of the river.

NI bottom 10 boroughsNew arrivals from Romania are driving the Newham and Brent numbers. Romanians were allowed free access to the UK labour market from the beginning of 2014. In the financial year 2014/15 nearly 67,000 have settled in London and registered for NI. That’s 20% of all registrations in London.

As our map shows, there are more than 8,000 in both Newham and Brent. That’s around a third of all new overseas NI registrations in each of those boroughs. As previously reported by Urbs, these are the areas that have the highest levels of Romanian born Londoners according to data from the last census in 2011.

NI Map Romanians-2

And it is not only Romanians who are choosing to join established national communities in London. Bulgarians, who also gained free movement to work in Britain in 2014, have predominantly settled in Haringey, Newham and Enfield. These are the three areas with the most Bulgarian-born Londoners according to the census.

Ni Map Bulgarians

The same story emerges for Poles. Ealing has more people from Poland than any other London borough according to the census data. It also has by far the most new NI registrations.

NI Map Poles

The group that bucks this trend is the Italians. 35,000 registered for NI in the past year, the biggest national group after Romanians. The census data shows that Italians living in London favour inner London boroughs with Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea as favourite. As our map shows, new arrivals are still living centrally but Tower Hamlets is the number one choice with Brent and Haringey also proving popular.

NI Map Italians

This shift in emphasis may be due to the changing nature and income level of a growing workforce seeking employment in London amid more difficult economic circumstances back home since the financial crisis.

Source data

See also

What National Insurance really tells us about London’s overseas workforce

The importance of the London factor in overseas worker numbers

London population maps

Anxious, unhappy, dissatisfied with life? Perhaps you live in Hackney or Barking?


How happy are you? Did you feel anxious yesterday? Are you satisfied with life, and does your life feel worthwhile? These are the questions the Office for National Statistics has been asking since 2010 to try to understand the nation’s well-being.

The most recent rankings show that people in Richmond and Kensington and Chelsea are most pleased with their lot in life while those in Barking and Dagenham, Hackney and Lambeth seem to have little to smile about.

The results are based upon a national survey carried out by the ONS that questions around 120,000 people nationally and over 13,000 in London. The responses indicate a greater sense of well-being in south and west London, in line with the GLA’s own well-being index, previously reported by Urbs.

When it comes to satisfaction with life the small resident population of the City of London came out top, closely followed by Kensington. At the other end of the scale the survey respondents in Barking and Dagenham and Lambeth were least satisfied.

ONS Well-being Survey
How satisfied are you with your life?
Most Satisfied Least satisfied
City of London Barking and Dagenham
Kensington and Chelsea Lambeth
Richmond Camden
Southwark Hackney
Merton Greenwich

There was a similar result at the top and bottom of the rankings when it came to whether life felt worthwhile.

ONS Well-being Survey
To what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?
Worthwhile Not worthwhile
Kensington and Chelsea Lambeth
City of London Barking and Dagenham
Hillingdon Hackney
Bexley Camden
Richmond Brent

In terms of happiness the affluent areas of Richmond and Kensington and Chelsea score well once more, and Bromley on the southern outer edge of the capital also has happy residents. Hackney and Barking and Dagenham feature again but at the wrong end of the rankings.

ONS Well-being Survey
How happy did you feel yesterday?
Most happy Least happy
Kensington and Chelsea Hackney
Bromley Barking and Dagenham
Richmond Hammersmith and Fulham
Barnet Waltham Forest
Hounslow Westminster

As well as being unhappy the survey respondents in Hackney and Barking and Dagenham were also the most anxious people in the capital. As their boroughs feature in the bottom 5 in all 4 categories perhaps that’s not surprising.

ONS Well-being Survey
How anxious did you feel yesterday?
Least anxious Most anxious
Enfield Hackney
Barnet Barking and Dagenham
Harrow Lambeth
Newham Southwark
Hillingdon Islington

The least anxious were not in the affluent areas that scored well in other categories but in the North London boroughs of Enfield, Barnet and Harrow.

Source data

See also

Well-being and wealth – how South West London soars ahead of the rest

Are you a north of the river or south of the river Londoner?








Mapping Londoners: Born in Mauritius

The Indian Ocean island of Mauritius gained independence from Britain in 1968. The relationship began in 1810 when the British took control of the island from the French.

Mauritius remains part of the Commonwealth and there are 24,000 Mauritian-born Londoners according to data from the last census in 2011. The more recent Annual Population Survey last year found that number is unchanged.

Mauritians show a preference for North London with Enfield the favourite location to make a home. In the east of the capital there are significant groups in Redbridge and Newham. Croydon in the south is also a popular choice.

Born in Mauritius

Source data

More population maps

Renting in London: A Room

For many people coming to London, particularly younger people, their first experience of setting up home in the capital is renting a room in a shared house.

As with all levels of property, that’s considerably more expensive than in the rest of the England; £525 per month compared to £341, according to the Valuation Office Agency, the body that advises the government on property values.

Rental room

But across the capital, are there any bargains to be had in the communal living lifestyle? The closest you will get to the England average is in Havering where a room costs £417. Prices are generally cheapest in the east of city where there are 6 boroughs with monthly prices below £500.

Rental room map

Across the capital Croydon, Sutton, Hillingdon, Harrow and Enfield also duck under the £500-a-month bar.

At the other end of the scale, you can pay double that in the City and not much less in Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea.

Source data

Renting in London: A Studio

More on Renting in London

Mapping Londoners: Born in Ghana

Ghanaian-born Londoners are the third biggest African group by birth after Nigerians and Somalis. There are 63,000 of them and they are dispersed across the capital, according to data from the last census.

The largest numbers are in Croydon and Southwark with substantial communities in Newham, Lambeth and Enfield.

Ghana was a British colony and known as the Gold Coast until it gained independence in 1957. As a result Ghanaians have a long history of settling in the UK.

Born in Ghana

Source data

More population maps

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

dreamstime_s_6081706London has long been an ethnically diverse city and data from primary schools reveal the recent trends in the population groups and where they live.

Over the past 7 years the proportion of primary school children who are classified as white British has gone down from 37% to 27%. In comparison, the average figure for the rest of England is 69%. The biggest change in any ethnic group over the period has been the increase in children classified as white non-British. This group has increased from 8.9% of primary age children in 2007 to 13.4% today and can be explained by the arrival of people from EU countries.

As our chart shows, there has also been an increase in children of mixed race and children classified as Asian. Most of the growth in the Asian group is in Pakistani children, rising from 3.7% in 2007 to 4.4% today. The proportion of Indian and Bangladeshi children has changed little.

Primary pupils ethnic mix

The proportion of Black children in primary schools has remained steady at around 20%. In 2007 African children were roughly twice the number of Caribbean children. Their numbers have grown and the proportion of children of Caribbean origin has fallen slightly.

Urbs used the data produced by the Department for Education to map the city, revealing the broad patterns of population.

There are significantly higher proportions of white British children in the outer boroughs in the south and the east. In Havering it is 68% yet in nearby Newham a tenth of that. There are high proportions of white British children in Bexley, Bromley, Sutton and Richmond.

Primary pupils white brit

The proportions of non-British white children are more evenly spread but with much higher concentrations in the northern boroughs of Enfield, Haringey, Brent and Waltham Forest.

Primary pupils white other

Asian families coming to London have long settled in the East End. That legacy lives on and 65% of primary pupils in Tower Hamlets are classified as Asian. Newham and Redbridge also have a high percentage of Asian children, as does Harrow in the north west of the city.

Primary pupils asian

The black population is more uniformly spread with highest proportions south of the river in Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham. Richmond and Kingston have very few black pupils.

Primary pupils black


Source data

See also:

Our multi-lingual city – English second language for half of primary pupils

London leads in places for poorer students

Private school? Depends where you live

London drives UK population growth


House price rises fuel affordability crisis for Londoners

© Photographerlondon |

Photo: © Photographerlondon |

House price increases in London continue to outpace the rest of the UK. Latest data from the Land Registry shows that prices rose by 10.9% in the year to April and by 2.3% in that month alone.

In some parts of London rises are even higher. Over 12 months prices went up in Newham by 17.2%, 16.3% in Enfield and 16% in Bromley and Harrow.

While estate agents or anyone selling up and leaving the capital may be rubbing their hands the rises add to the huge problem of affordability of homes for people in London.

Urbs has looked at the data on the ratio of house prices to earnings. Using figures from the Land Registry and the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings the government produces an index of housing affordability. The house price to earnings ratio for England is 7.1. In London it is 57% higher at 11.1.

Home affordabilty chart

The index measures the median price of a home against the median level of earnings. (Median, for those not familiar with the term, is the midpoint in a set of numbers and is different from the average).

Every London borough is above the level for England as a whole, and there are some wide variations across the capital. The boroughs seeing the greatest house price inflation in this month’s Land Registry figures – Newham and Enfield – are at the lower end of the index. The eastern boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Bexley have the lowest level in London.

Home affordabilty map

The ratio for Kensington and Chelsea is more than twice the London level and nearly 4 times the national rate, underlining how property prices in the borough are out of line with the income of the majority of people who live there. The ratio is also high in central areas of Westminster, City and Camden, and in Hammersmith and Fulham in the west.

Land Registry data   Housing Affordability Index data

See also:

Booming population will struggle to find a place to live

London house prices more than 100% higher than rest of UK

Rents rise by 31% in 10 years

Murder map of London shows more killings north of the river

There were 92 murders in London in the 12 months ending in March 2015 and the highest rates were recorded in the central area of Westminster and 2 outer boroughs, Enfield and Ealing. Each had 6 murders.

Urbs has used the latest data from the Metropolitan Police to plot a murder map of the capital. It shows the second highest rate of 5 murders in the period in a group of north London boroughs – Brent, Haringey, Islington and Hackney. The 10 boroughs that had 4 or more murders were all north of the river.

Crime Murder map

No murders took place in Sutton and Bromley on the southern fringe of the capital or in Havering, on the eastern edge of London.

The murder map shows a different pattern to the map for overall crime. That shows higher crime levels in inner London and lower in the outer boroughs. The map for murder in the past year shows more of a north/south split.

Crime map

To put the London murder statistics in some context, in 2014 there were 328 murders in New York, and that was the lowest rate since 1963.

Source data

The data from the Metropolitan Police does not include the City of London, which has its own police service.

More crime reports


Crime Report: Enfield

Enfield has a lower than average crime rate in general but household burglary is a problem. Of all burglary offences in the borough, 2,160 of them were from a dwelling, 20% above the London average.

Data from the Metropolitan Police for the year to the end of March 2015 shows that there were 22,200 crimes in the borough, which equates to 68 per 1000 people. The London average is 81.

Crime report Enfield

Most major crime categories apart from burglary and fraud were below London-wide levels but certain specific offences were at a high rate. There were 174 offensive weapons offences, which is 34% above the London average.

Enfield is one of 3 boroughs that share the highest murder rate in the capital, with 6 murders committed in the period.

Source data

More crime reports

Pay rates underline gap between rich and poor boroughs

cash sterling notesWhat’s the difference between Newham and Kensington and Chelsea? The answer is about £20,000 if you are looking at pay rates of people across the city

Average gross pay (before tax) in Kensington and Chelsea is the highest in London at £45,000. Newham has the lowest average at £26,000, making it the only borough below the national average of £27,000. There’s some consolation for the people of Newham in the fact that the median house price in the borough is £250,000 compared to £1.2m in Kensington. The crime rate is also lower in Newham.

Gross pay map

Barking and Dagenham and Waltham Forest are just above Newham with average pay of £27,000 and £28,000. They are among 14 outer London boroughs from Hounslow and Ealing in the west, Enfield in the north, Havering in the east and Sutton in the south, that have gross average pay below the London average of £33,000.

Kensington and Chelsea tops the average pay stakes by some margin. The nearest rivals are Westminster and Richmond at £40,000. No data was available for the 8,000 residents of the City of London.

The figures are drawn from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings done by the Office for National Statistics using data from HMRC.

Source data

See also

Jobs concentrated in just 5 of London’s 33 boroughs

Well-being and wealth – how South West London soars