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

 

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

 

 

Mapping Londoners: Born in Portugal

The Stockwell area of Lambeth is sometimes referred to as Little Portugal and the borough has one of the highest concentrations of Portuguese-born Londoners. Nearly 7,000 live there, significantly more than any other borough.

According to the last census there are 41,000 Portuguese-born residents of London. Most famous of them is probably Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who lives in a slightly swankier area than Stockwell.

born in portugal

Source data

More population maps