Census gives insights into characteristics of London’s population
- Published on Tuesday, 11 December 2012 14:46
- Last Updated on 11 December 2012
- Monica Costa
- 0 Comments
Statistics published today from the 2011 Census reveal the changing
characteristics of the population in every region of England and Wales and
the 348 local authorities that form them. This report covers London.
There were 8.2 million residents in London. This was an increase of some
851,000 (12 per cent) since 2001, and represents 15 per cent of the
population of England and Wales. This is the highest growth since 2001,
when compared with regions of England and Wales. Of all regions only the
South East has a larger total population.
The median age of the region was 33, which was 6 years lower than the
England and Wales average. Within the region this ranged from 29 in Newham
and Tower Hamlets to 40 in Havering and Bromley.
Guy Goodwin, ONS’s Director of Census, said:
“These statistics paint a picture of society and help us all plan for the
future using accurate information at a local level.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg of census statistics. Further rich
layers of vital information will be revealed as we publish more detailed
data for very local levels over the coming months.”
Some headline facts of life in London are that:
Passports and country of birth
In 2001 more than 1 in 4 of London’s population were born outside the UK
(27 per cent); by 2011 this had grown to more than 1 in 3 (3 million, 37
More than half the residents in Brent, Newham, Westminster, Kensington and
Chelsea were born outside the UK. The largest proportions of foreign-born
residents in London were born in India (3 per cent) and Poland (2 per
cent). Of the foreign-born residents in London, half arrived between 2001
Over 60 per cent of the resident population of England who were born in
South America lived in London.
Since 2001 Southwark had overtaken Brent to have the highest proportion of
African-born residents (13 per cent of the resident population).
Enfield had the largest decrease of people born in Asia (3 per cent), with
Newham and Redbridge having the largest increase at 9 per cent and 8 per
cent respectively. Since 2001 Newham has overtaken Tower Hamlets to have
the highest proportion of residents born in Asia (27 per cent).
London was the region with the lowest proportion of people with no
passports, at 8 per cent. The five local authorities with the lowest
proportion of people with no passports in London were: Kensington and
Chelsea, City of London, Westminster, Camden, and Brent. The lowest
proportion was 3 per cent in Kensington and Chelsea.
Three of the five local authorities with the lowest proportion of UK
passports held were in London: Newham, Kensington and Chelsea, and
London had 3.7 million residents (45 per cent) who declared their ethnicity
as ‘White: English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British’.
For every single ethnic group other than ‘White: British’, London had the
In England and Wales the 5 local authorities with the lowest proportions of
‘White: English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British’ were all in London:
Tower Hamlets, Harrow, Ealing, Brent and Newham. All have less than 31 per
cent in this category.
In Barking and Dagenham, 40,500 fewer people described themselves as
‘White: English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British’ than in 2001 –
equivalent to the largest proportional decrease of any local authority (31
per cent). Some 37,000 people described themselves as
‘Black/African/Caribbean/Black British ’(over 13 per cent) – the greatest
increase of any local authority. These were principally ‘Black Africans’,
with an increase of 11 per cent in this group.
There was a decline in the number of London residents who stated their
religious affiliation as ‘Christian’, as in all regions of England and
Wales between 2001 and 2011. However, London experienced the smallest
decrease (below 10 per cent) and remained the region with the lowest
proportion of Christians (48 per cent).
London had the smallest increase in those having ‘No religion’, and the
highest increase of Muslims (4 per cent).
London had the highest proportion of Muslims (12 per cent), Hindus (5 per
cent), Jewish (2 per cent), and Buddhist (1 per cent), and people of ‘Other
religions’ (1 per cent).
Five of the top 10 local authorities with the largest proportion of Muslims
were found in London: Tower Hamlets, Newham, Redbridge, Waltham Forest, and
Brent. Tower Hamlets had the largest proportion with 35 per cent.
Four of the top 5 local authorities with the largest proportion of Hindus
were found in London: Harrow, Brent, Redbridge, and Hounslow. Harrow had
the largest proportion with 25 per cent, and showed the greatest increase
(6 per cent).
Three of the top 5 local authorities with the largest proportion of Jewish
people were in London: Barnet, Hackney and Camden. Barnet had the largest
proportion in England and Wales with 15 per cent.
Four of the top five local authorities with the largest proportion of
Buddhists were in London: Greenwich, Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster,
and Hounslow. Greenwich had the largest proportion with 2 per cent.
Three of the top 5 local authorities with the largest proportion of people
stating ‘Other religion’ were in London: Harrow, Barnet, and Brent. Harrow
had the largest proportion with 3 per cent.
Compared to the regions of England and Wales, London had the highest
proportion of socially rented accommodation (at 24 per cent), and the
highest proportion of households privately rented from a landlord or
letting agency (24 per cent), 9 percentage points higher than the next
highest region, the South West.
The 10 local authorities with the highest proportions of households
privately rented from a landlord or letting agency were all in London. The
highest proportion was in Westminster with 38 per cent.
London had the lowest percentage of homes owned outright (21 per cent) or
owned with a mortgage (27 per cent). Hackney had the lowest percentage of
homes owned outright (9 per cent), both in London and all other regions.
London had both the highest percentage of people with recognised
qualifications at degree level and above (38 per cent) and the lowest
percentage with any other qualification below degree level except ‘Other’.
London also had the lowest proportion of people aged 16 and over with ‘No
recognised qualification’ (18 per cent).
Nine of the top 10 local authorities with the highest level of
qualification at degree level or above were in London. Of these 7 are among
the 10 local authorities with the lowest proportion of people with no
recognised qualification. The local authority with the highest proportion
of qualifications at degree level or above was City of London with 68 per
cent, followed by Wandsworth with 54 per cent.
Health and provision of unpaid care
London had the highest proportion (92 per cent) of people who do not
provide any unpaid care for someone with an illness or disability.
Nine of the top ten local authorities in England and Wales with the highest
proportion of people who provide no unpaid care were in London; the highest
was Wandsworth with 93 per cent. Wandsworth also has the highest proportion
of people whose day to day activity was not limited by a long term health
problem or disability (89 per cent). This local authority was the second
highest for residents declaring ‘Very good health’ (57 per cent).
Four of the top five local authorities with the largest proportion of
people in ‘Very good health’ were in London: Kensington and Chelsea,
Wandsworth, Richmond upon Thames, and Hammersmith and Fulham. Kensington
and Chelsea had the largest proportion of people in ‘Very good health’ with
58 per cent.
Car or van availability
Greater London is the only region in England where there is, on average,
less than one car or van per household. Whereas in the rest of the country
the average increased from 1.1 per household to 1.2 between 2001 and 2011,
in London it fell from 0.9 to 0.8. It was also the only region to show an
increase in the proportion of car-free households, from 38 per cent to 42
The census provides the most accurate estimate possible for the
population of England and Wales and has been carried out every 10 years
since 1801, apart from 1941, by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The information provided to ONS is used solely for the census, is
anonymised and protected for 100 years. Census day was on 27 March 2011.
All census statistics refer to that day.
This release supplements the figures published in July 2012, which put the
total population of England and Wales on census day (27 March 2011) at 56.1
million – an increase of 3.7 million (7 per cent) since 2001.
For the latest data on the economy and society consult National Statistics at www.ons.gov.uk
Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums