London's geography and population

Date 1 September 2017
Date updated 20 April 2020

London's sub-regions (2018)

Key population statistics for London and it's sub-regions

Region Total population Population change Population per km2 % BME % not UK-born
London sub-region: Central 1,564,700 +13% 12,129 38% 41%
London sub-region: East 2,836,800 +16% 6,154 45% 34%
London sub-region: North 996,600 +12% 2,162 37% 38%
London sub-region: South 1,629,100 +9% 4,188 30% 28%
London sub-region: West 1,880,800 +9% 4,774 48% 42%
London 8,908,000 +12% 5,667 41% 36%
Rest of England 47,069,200 +7% 366 11% 11%

Data source: Mid-year population estimates (2018), Population of the UK by country of birth and nationality, Annual Population Survey (2018), ONS. Ethnic group populations from Annual Population Survey ONS, via London Datastore

More than 8.9 million people live in London. Between 2008 and 2018, London’s population increased at a faster rate than the rest of England. East London saw the biggest increase (16%), in comparison to London’s overall growth of 12%, and the rest of England’s growth of 7%. 

In terms of living proximity, Central London has the highest level of population density with 12,129 people per km2, which is over twice the level of London overall. Still, London is 15 times more dense than the rest of England, with 5,667 and 366 people per km2 respectively.

In terms of one aspect of diversity, 41% of Londoners are Black and Minority Ethnic and 36% are not born in the UK. West London has the highest proportion (48%) of its population that are Black and Minority Ethnic and 36% who are not UK-born. These proportions are much higher in comparison to the population in the rest of England, where only 11% of the population are Black and Minority Ethnic and 11% are born outside of the UK.