Population changes over the decades

Date 1 September 2017
Date updated 20 April 2020

London's population over time (1931-2030)

The size of London’s population has changed dramatically over the past century; falling from a pre-Second World War high of 8.6 million people in 1939 to around 6.8 million in the 1980s. The fall was most pronounced in Inner London, which saw its population reduce by almost half over 50 years. 

London’s population has been growing since the early 1990s and hit a new high of 8.9 million in 2018. In a reversal of the mid-20th Century trend, both Inner and Outer London have been growing steadily, although Inner London is still a million people short of its population in 1931. By 2030, London’s population is expected to be almost 10 million.