Mapping Londoners: Born in India

Indian-born Londoners are the second largest group by place of birth after those born in England. There are 262,000 living in the capital.

More than 200,000 are to be found in Outer London, and predominantly in North West boroughs such Brent, Hounslow, Ealing and Harrow, as well as Newham and Redbridge in the East. Indian born Londoners are the biggest non-English-born group in 10 of the 33 boroughs and City of London.

Born India

Source data

See also

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

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


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

© Yolfran |

Photo: © Yolfran |

There’s a sort of convention in London that you are either a north of the river person or a south of the river person. Wherever you were born in the capital, or where you first lived when you arrived sets a pattern for the area of the city that you call home.

But is there any truth to this? Surely it is only vampires and cab drivers late at night that seem unable to cross running water. Londoners must be more mobile?

So to test the theory at Urbs London we decided to dig into the data on borough to borough moves around the city. Were people really partisan in their choice of Crouch End over Clapham or Southwark over Hackney? Here’s what we found.

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics on local authority migration is for 2013 and it shows that 361.000 people moved between London boroughs. With 32 boroughs plus the City of London there are 1,000 possible permutations for those moves. Only 24 of these “routes” saw more than 2,000 people. Here’s the top 10.


Area From To Number
N Haringey Enfield 4,210
N Newham Redbridge 3,770
S Southwark Lewisham 3,650
S Lambeth Wandsworth 3,530
S Wandsworth Lambeth 3,380
S Lambeth Southwark 3,350
S Greenwich Bexley 3,340
N Ealing Hillingdon 3,320
S Wandsworth Merton 3,160
N Brent Harrow 3,020

Most “routes” involve people moving to a neighbouring borough. And there is a general pattern in the “routes” of people moving a step further out from the centre of the city.

We did find some people venturing across the river. 1,880 people from Hammersmith and Fulham moved the other side of Wandsworth Bridge. 1,670 people swapped Hounslow for Richmond, and 1,290 people went the other way, but as Richmond straddles the Thames it is not possible to check if they did cross the river.

The significant movements across the river were between neighbouring boroughs, and those from further afield are measured in hundreds. Only 130 people, for example, wanted to swap Alexandra Palace for Crystal Palace.

So, not crossing running water – make that vampires, cab drivers and most Londoners.

Source data

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

Booming population will struggle to find a place to live


Younger workforce makes capital’s population pensioner poor

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

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

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


Crowded London’s most crowded place is Islington

crowd zoom b&WLondon, like most big cities, can feel very crowded but how does the number of people you need to fight your way through on some streets relate to the number of Londoners living in the capital?

Using population data from the Greater London Authority Urbs mapped the city showing the density of residents across each borough.  There is a clear difference, as expected, between inner and outer London.  The amount of housing stock in a neighbourhood and the size of open space are key factors. Islington, one of London’s smaller boroughs, has the highest population density with 151 people per hectare.  Hackney and Tower Hamlets are not far behind.

Popultation density map

The most densely populated ward, (the neighbourhoods within a borough) is Colville ward in Kensington and Chelsea.  This area, which runs south of the Westway down each side of Portobello Road has 214 people per hectare.  The average for London is 55 and for England it is 4.

The borough with the largest number of people is Barnet with 393,000 residents according to GLA estimates for 2015.  Barnet’s population density is below the London average.

Havering and Bromley on the edge of London are the least densley populated boroughs.  The ward with the lowest density is Darwin, site of the the family home of it’s famous namesake. The area in the sourthern part of Bromley has a population density of 1.8 people per hectare and is largely farmland and woodland.

While the City of London is a hive of activity and people from Monday to Friday it has one of the lowest population densities in the capital as just 8000 people live within its square mile.

Soure data

See also:

Is our open space really open?

London drives UK population growth

Women in London will live longer than anywhere in the UK

pensioner coupleLife expectancy for women in London is the highest in the UK, and for men it has seen the biggest improvement in the country.

Girls born between 2011-13 can expect to live 84.1 years, a year longer than the average for England. Boys can expect to live to 80, which is a little below the average for the South East but above the England average of 79.4.

Life expectancy 2

There is also good news for today’s pensioners. For those who have reached 65 the prospects are better in London than elsewhere in the country. Men of 65 will live, on average, for 19.1 years. For women it is 21.9 years.

Life expectancy 65 2

While there is a positive picture for the whole city the borough level breakdown of the figures from the Office for National Statistics shows a richer/poorer divide. Kensington and Chelsea has the highest life expectancy for both men and women. Barking and Dagenham the lowest. Men in the royal borough can expect to live 5 years longer and women 4 years longer than those in Barking and Dagenham

Life expectancy men map Life expectancy women borough map

London is not only noticeable in the national data for its high rankings but also for the level of improvement in the last 10 and 20 years. Since 1993 longevity for men has increased by 7 years and women can expect to live for 6 years longer. Camden has seen the biggest improvements in London. In the past 20 years life expectancy there for men has gone up by 10 years, and for women by 7 years.

Source data

Baby booming Wandsworth is the city’s kiddie capital

Mum wiht baby in buggie-1Anyone who has walked down the Northcote Road in Battersea on a Saturday morning will tell you that there are a lot of children in the neighbourhood.  It is pretty self evident from the numbers of buggies that you need to navigate as you take in the area’s cafe culture.

The area which lies between Clapham Common and Wandsworth Common has been dubbed Nappy Valley and the epithet is certainly supported by the data.  Analysis by Urbs of child benefit data shows that Wandsworth, where Nappy Valley is situated,  has the highest proportion of children under 4 in London.  37% of the children in the borough are babies and pre-school kids. That’s a third higher than the national average of 20%.  The rate for London is 31%.

under 4s in London map

While Wandsworth has the highest proportion of tiny Londoners, for sheer numbers of children Croydon takes the prize. The borough has 95,000 under 18s, beating Barnet with 90,000 and Newham with 85,000.

If you want to avoid children then head to the City of London.  The high proportion of under 4s on our map, while accurate, may be misleading as the square mile is home to just 885 kids.

Source data

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


London’s smart, but not smart enough

dreamstime_xl_40134801Which is the smartest city in the world? Regrettably it’s not London. The accolade goes to Spain’s second city, Barcelona, with London coming in third according to the smart city rankings by research company Juniper.

A smart city is not one that has the snappiest dressers or cleverest folk, (maybe London would win there) but one that embraces digital technologies to improve its performance, sustainability and the well being of its citizens.

Juniper used a number of measures to draw up its rankings for 2015. It looked at smart grids for energy use, smart traffic and parking systems, smart street lighting, technological capability, social cohesion and the promotion of open data for citizens.

London and New York performed well across all these measures but Barcelona beat them to the top spot with a consistently above average performance. London excelled when it came to technological capacity and a willingness to engage through making much of the data it gathers open to anyone. But the capital fell short in environmentally positive projects, according to Jupiter.

The top five smart cities for 2015 are:

  1. Barcelona
  2. New York
  3. London
  4. Nice
  5. Singapore

The smart city concept is a growing phenomenon in urban development as city planners embrace emerging technologies and the Internet of Things to create systems which are more efficient, environmentally sustainable and improve the quality of life for the growing urban population. 54% of people globally live in urban environments and that is forecast to rise to 66% by 2050, according to the UN.

More and more people are moving to big cities. London’s population has gone up by 7% in the past 5 years to 8.6 million. Globally there are now 29 megacities with populations over 10 million. In 1990 there were just 10.

To see the London open data sources that were praised in these rankings go to