Americans back on top as London’s biggest visitors

River Tower Br ShardAmericans were London’s leading overseas visitors last year after 8 years of being outnumbered by the French.

The surge from the States helped make 2015 another record-breaking year for the capital as, predicted by Urbs.  Data from Visit Britain shows that the capital welcomed 18.5 million people from around the world for leisure, education, business and family visits.

2.1 million of those visitors, or 11.5%, came from America, narrowly beating the French, although visitor numbers from France were also slightly up on 2014. Polish visitors pushed into the top 10 for the first time in 2015.

tourist data graph .001-2

As well as being the largest group, Americans also spent the most. Of the £11.9 billion the city generated from tourism, nearly a tenth came from American wallets alone last year.

London’s highest spending European visitors were French, with a total spend of £762 million. But on an individual basis the big spenders are from the Gulf countries of the Middle East. While the average London visitor spent £640, those from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia spent nearly five times that amount.

The ease of a hop across the Channel or a trip through the Tunnel means the French still account for more of London’s short-stayers than anyone else. 1.2 million French people came to the city for ‘le weekend’ and a trip lasting one to three nights.

The longest stayers came from Australia – 1.57 million of them stuck around for at least two weeks following presumably long-haul journeys for most of them. Despite the Australian’s extended time here, they trail other countries closer to home on tourist numbers and expenditure, including Germany, Italy and Spain.

As home to most of the UK’s biggest tourist attractions, it is no surprise that London’s main draw for visitors continues to be as a holiday destination. Half of those who came to the city from abroad did so for leisure. Internationally, London also remains a popular destination to do business, with 20% of those coming here on work commitments.

Irish and Polish family networks around London also seem to have grown in strength in the past year. Not only did their visitor numbers increase by almost one third and one fifth respectively, but as many as 39% of Irish and Polish visitors were in the capital to see family and relatives.

Source data

See also

Good news for tourists and Londoners as city dominates for visitor attractions

Tourists biggest users of Boris Bikes

How London’s choice of nightlife compares to other cities

A tenth of Londoners won’t get a vote but may feel the impact of the EU referendum

flag waving-2For 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%.

EU pop numbers table

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.

Born Poland

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.

Born in Ireland

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.

Born in Romania

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.

Born in Italy

Born in France

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.

Born in Germany

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.

Born in Greece

Born in Spain

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.

Born in Lithuania

 

Latvia map

Estonia map

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.

Born in Bulgaria

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.

Cyprus map

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.

born in portugal

 

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.

Hungary map

In 2011 the Dutch numberd around the same as the Hungarians.  The population had grown to 19,000 by 2014.

 

Born in Netherlands

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.

Born in Denmark

Born in Sweden

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.

Slovakia map

 

Czech map

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.

Belgium map

Austria map

Finland map

Malta map

Croatia map

Slovenia mapLuxembourg

 

Source data

See also

London is more diverse than the UN or Fifa

London’s unique language landscape where 26% don’t speak English at home

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

 

Visitor numbers and spending for 2015 on track for record-breaking year

London Eye pod-22015 is shaping up to be a very strong year for tourism in London. The latest data from Visit Britain shows a record number of visitors for the first six months of the year and record levels of spending.

There were 17.7 million visitors in the 12 months to the end of June, the highest ever total for a 12-month period. But visitors are not staying as long. The number of nights per visit has fallen to an average of 5.3, down from 6.2 per visit in 2014.

The French continue to be the most frequent visitors, as they have been since 2008. In the first 6 months of 2015 there were 1.1 million visitors from France. At that rate the figure of just over 2 million for 2104 will be surpassed.

January to June 2015 also saw 950,000 visitors from the USA and significant numbers from Germany, Spain and Italy.

Overseas visitor country-2

The French may be more frequent visitors, but the Americans stay longer. They clocked up more than 5 million overnight stays or 5.5 per visitor in the first 6 months of 2015. The average stay for French visitors is 3.7 nights.

Staying longer also means spending more. While visitors from France spend £371, those from the USA spend £827. Overseas visitors contribute four fifths of all tourist spending in London. In 2014 the capital raked in £11.8 billion.

Overseas visitor spend-2

Visit Britain gathers the data on visitor numbers from the International Passenger Survey, which is based on thousands of face-to face interviews.

Source data

See also

London ranked as top global city destination

Tourists biggest users of Boris Bikes

Good news for tourists and Londoners as city dominates for visitor attractions

The dating data for lovelorn Londoners

hThanks to London listings magazine, Time Out, we now know that British is the sexiest accent in the world.  From reading the reports about its Global Dating Survey it appears that a shout of “You’re  only supposed to blow the bloody doors off’ could have the world swooning at your feet. But the survey of 11,000 people in 24 cities had a few more insights for Londoners looking for love.  And to prove that Urbs.London cares about dating as much as we care about data, here are a few of our favourite survey facts:

  1. More that 50% of Londoners decide in the first 2-3 minutes whether they will be going on a second date with a person
  2. 58% of you believe that bad breath is a complete dating deal-breaker
  3. Over half of you will try to do some online investigation about a prospective date before you meet
  4. 13% of women would say yes to dating an artist or creative type  – that’s more any other city in the survey
  5. 12% of men fancy hooking up with a designer or someone in the fashion industry – making these the hottest occupations

London came out a poor 6th in the dating league table put together by Time Out, based on their survey result, with some weighting for the number of people taking part in each place.  While French may not be the most attractive accent it appears that Paris is still the best place to pull.

Dating