The population of London is 8,799,800. This figure comes from the latest UK census which was conducted in 2021.
London is the capital and largest city of the United Kingdom, and the third largest city in Europe (after Istanbul and Moscow). The second largest city in the UK is Birmingham.
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How many people live in London
London is often sub-divided into Inner London, Outer London. Together, they make up the area of Greater London. The population of each (from the 2021 census which was conducted by the Office of National Statistics) is as follows:
- Inner London Population: 3,404,300
- Outer London Population: 5,395,500
- Greater London Population: 8,799,800
Sometimes people also refer to the London Metropolitan Area, which includes areas in the counties surrounding London, including parts of Hertfordshire, Essex, Kent, Surrey, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. The Office of National Statistics doesn’t provide data on the metro area, but Eurostat has estimated that the 2019 population of the London Metropolitan Area is 14,372,596.
There is also the City of London to consider. This is a small city in the heart of London which houses its financial district. It has a permanent population of around 10,000 people, and is three things at the same time:
- a city
- a ceremonial county entirely surrounded by the ceremonial county of Greater London and
- a local government district.
London population growth
After decades – perhaps even centuries – of sustained population growth, the population of the UK’s capital city started to shrink in the 1950s.
London’s population decreased from 8,164,416 in 1951, just after the Second World War, to a low of 6,608,513 in 1981.
Then. as the UK boomed, so too did the population of its largest city, which grew to a staggering high of 8,799,800 at the time of the latest census in 2021.
Much of this population grown was driven by immigration and internal migration as young professionals flocked to the increasingly vibrant city.
London population by year
|Year||Inner London||Outer London||Greater London|
When was London the largest city in the world?
From 1825 until 1925, a period when the British Empire was at its height, London was the largest city in the world. Before 1825, Beijing was the world’s largest city, and from 1925 until 1965 it was New York.
London was also the largest city in Europe from 1750 until 1975 when it was overtaken by Moscow.
London population density
London, with it’s 2021 population of 8,799,800 and area of 606.96 square miles has a population density of 14,500 people per square mile.
London boroughs by population
London is made up of 32 boroughs, plus the City of London. Other than the City of London (which according to the ONS had a population of just 10,938 in 2020), the boroughs range in size from 156,864 (Kensington and Chelsea) to 399,007 (Barnet).
|Barking and Dagenham||214,107|
|Richmond upon Thames||198,141|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||183,544|
|Kingston upon Thames||179,142|
|Kensington and Chelsea||156,864|
|City of London||10,938|