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

 

The importance of the London factor in overseas worker numbers

For many people arriving from overseas, London is the first choice as the place to settle and find work. The most recent full year figures for non-UK citizens registering for a National Insurance number show that 334,000 of the 820,000 are in London. That’s just over 40%.

But looking at the detailed breakdown for nationality groups and the historic patterns show that some nationalities are more London-centric than others.

The biggest new factor in the data for 2014/15 is the rise in the number from Romania and Bulgaria, the so-called A2 European countries. They joined the EU in 2007 but restrictions were placed upon free movement to the UK until the start of 2014.

Anyone seeking to work or claim benefits in the UK needs a National Insurance number, and in the first full year of access to the UK 152,00 Romanians and 40,000 Bulgarians applied.

66,000 Romanians chose London as their base. That is 44%. The South East was the second most popular choice.

NI Romanians UK

About the same proportion of Bulgarians decided upon the capital. The South East, East and West Midlands are other favourite locations, as they are with Romanians.

NI Bulgarians UK

The biggest group of overseas workers in the UK is from Poland. Poland joined the EU in 2004 as one of the so-called A8 countries of Eastern Europe. But the pattern of NI registrations by Poles shows they are far less focused on London. In 2004/05 when free access began 61,000 came but a little less than a third settled in London.  Numbers went up in the following years, but the rate fell and currently stands at 21%.

The other growing group of arrivals in the London labour market is Southern Europeans. In 2014/15 35,000 Italians registered for NI in London. That’s 60% of the total for the UK. And a pattern of London largely favoured over over the rest of the UK  can be seen over the past 10 years.

Since the economic crisis of 2008 the numbers of workers from Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece have risen. Italy and Spain have traditionally been first choice labour markets for Romanians, so their numbers arriving in the UK may be linked to the poor economic situation in Southern Europe.

Data for the next few years will reveal whether Romanians and Bulgarians will follow the A8 pattern with significant numbers working in locations across the UK or if they will remain more  London-centric like Southern Europeans.

Source data

See also

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

Where in the world would you like to work?

 

 

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

The release of the latest data on National Insurance registrations by people from overseas offers a good insight into economic migration into the UK. The headlines on the release of the data focused on the rise in Romanians. That was certainly the case, but the detailed data and longer-term trends show the changing patterns of new arrivals and give clues as to what drives people to come or stops them from doing so.

The financial year 2014-15 saw a substantial jump in the number of people from outside the UK seeking to work in London. The number registering for a National Insurance number in the capital was up by 38% on the previous year to 334,419. That’s around 40% of total registrations for the UK.

Anyone looking to work in the UK or claim a benefit needs an NI number, including the self-employed or students working part time. Although people may have been in the UK some time before they apply for a NI registration the data is seen as a useful proxy for migration rates and has the benefit of being based on hard figures rather than the survey estimates used to calculate migration totals.

The biggest and the fastest growing group are Romanians. Registrations in London increased by 200% in year, rising from 22,000 in 2013-14 to 67,000 in 2014-15.

NI all overseas

Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007 but were not allowed free access to work in the UK given to other EU citizens until January 2014. The number of Bulgarian registrations in London went up to a little over 18,000, a rise of 178%.

The figures show that it is not just the new members of the EU that are increasingly coming to London but people from southern Europe. After Romanians the biggest single national group last year were the 35,000 Italians.

NI leading nations

The historical data shows how there has been a strong and sustained growth in people coming to work in London from southern Europe (Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece) since the economic crisis of 2008.

The economic woes in southern Europe that has pushed many of its workers to the UK may also be a factor influencing the decision of Romanians and Bulgarians to come. Traditionally Romanians have headed primarily to Spain and Italy to find work outside their own country.

The change to restriction, allowing access to the UK labour market, is the trigger for the 2014 spike in what the EU refers to as the A2 countries (Romania and Bulgaria) but that spike may be sharper due to economic circumstances in their preferred southern European labour markets.

The cumulative totals for workers from Spain, Italy and Romania show the southern Europe effect. The spike in 2014 for Romanians may have been a more gradual rise since the economic downturn since 2008 if the restrictions had not been in place.

NI Sp It Rom cumulative

For the EU’s co called A8 nations, the Eastern European states of Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, the trend is steady over recent years. Led by workers from Poland registrations soared after they joined the EU in 2004. The financial crisis in 2008 led to a drop in arrivals but that there has been a gradual increase since then as the UK economy recovered.

Workers coming from Europe are the dominant overseas groups in London. In 2009/10 they accounted for 40% of London registrations. By last year that had increased to 78%.

The data for Asian registrations helps explain this change. NI registrations by people from Asia had climbed steeply in 2009 but fell sharply from 2011 onwards as the Cameron government introduced new restrictions on migrants that applied only to those from outside the EU.

Figures for the first quarter of this financial year (April – June) show registrations from Romania and Bulgaria continue to be a dominant factor. If the trend for the A8 nations from Eastern Europe is repeated then this will continue to be the story for the next few years.

Source data

See also

The importance of the London factor in overseas worker numbers

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

Where in the world would you like to work?

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

 

 

Over 50% of London babies have mothers born outside the UK

Baby hand

More than half the babies in London last year were born to mothers who were from outside the UK. Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that 58% of new Londoners had mothers who were born outside the UK.  That’s more than double the national rate as across the country non-UK mums account for 27% of births.

In 3 boroughs, Newham, Westminster and Brent, three quarters of the births were to mothers from outside the UK. Since 2004 Newham has had the highest rate in the country for births by women born overseas. Last year it was 76.4%.

The boroughs with the lowest rates of births to mothers born overseas are Havering, Bromley and Bexley. With 28% non UK-born mothers Havering comes closest to the national average.

Mothers born outside UK

National data shows that Poland, Pakistan and India are the most common countries of birth for mothers who are not UK-born. The Polish-born population of the UK has increased 10-fold in the past 10 years.

Of the 127,000 babies born in London in 2014, 25,000 had mothers born in Asia or the Middle East, 20,000 had mothers born in the EU, the majority in newer EU members, which includes Poland, and nearly 17,000 had mothers from Africa.

Across London the most common region of birth for mothers from outside the UK varies from borough to borough. In 6 of the 14 inner London boroughs, including Haringey and Islington, it is the EU. In 10 of the 19 outer London boroughs, including Hillingdon, Harrow, Redbridge and Sutton, it is Asia and the Middle East. For 8 boroughs, including Lewisham, Southwark and Barking and Dagenham, it is Africa.

Source data

See also

Muhammad and Amelia top London’s baby name charts, again

Fewer babies born last year but birth rates vary across city

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

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 Poland

Poland joined the EU in 2004 and unrestricted access to the UK meant workers began to arrive. More than 10 years on the Polish plumber has become almost a stereotype and there are Polish shops on many London high streets.

People born in Poland now make up the third largest group by place of birth in the city, behind English and Indian born people. There are 158,000 Polish-born Londoners

There are large Polish populations in most London boroughs, with the greatest number in Ealing, as well as Haringey, Brent and Hounslow. In Wandsworth and Merton they are the largest non-English born group.

Born PolandSource data

More population maps

London is more diverse than the UN or Fifa

 

 

 

 

London is more diverse than the UN or Fifa

crowd backs turnedThe United Nations has 193 members, Fifa has 209 national associations but for truly comprehensive international diversity look no further than a list of the places of birth of Londoners.

With 268 places listed the city appears to be home to people from every conceivable corner of the planet and some not even born on terra firma. 1 person claims to have been born ‘in the air’, which we assume means on board a plane and 25 were born at sea.

The data is contained within the last census for the UK in which people were asked to identify their place of birth. The large number of places, in excess of UN recognised countries, is partly a product of people naming countries that no longer exist, such as Yugoslavia or the USSR or being less specific in naming Africa or the Caribbean as their place of origin.

People born in the UK have mostly been more specific in identifying the nation of their birth. As a result we know that the vast majority of Londoners, some 61% of the population, were born in England. Nearly 90,000 Londoners, just over 1% of the population, were born in Scotland. The Irish outnumber the Scots,  there are nearly 130,000 of them, plus nearly 33,000 born in Northern Ireland.

After England, the second most popular place of birth is India with just over 3% of the population. An imperial history is very evident with Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Jamaica and Sri Lanka all featuring in the top 10 places of birth.

Anecdotally we know there are many Polish people working in London. The census data puts that into numbers – nearly 2% of the population, and Poland is the third most commonly cited place of birth for Londoners.

Population of London by place of birth
Position Place of Birth Number
1 England 4,997,072
2 India 262,247
3 Poland 158,300
4 Ireland 129,792
5 Nigeria 114,718
6 Pakistan 112,457
7 Bangladesh 109,948
8 Scotland 89,537
9 Jamaica 87,467
10 Sri Lanka 84,542

After the top 10 there is a significant drop in numbers to France in 11th place with 66,654.

Source data

See also

London drives UK population growth

Booming population will struggle to find a place to liv