Migrants

Use the interactive tool below to navigate indicators that show how poverty and inequality affects migrants in London.

Migrants: Indicators

London's non-UK born population by country of birth (2008 and 2018)

Of Londoners not born in the UK, more were born in India than any other country. 300,000 Londoners were born in India and around 140,000 each were born in Bangladesh, Poland and Romania. 

The foreign-born population in London from most countries has increased since 2008. For example, there were nearly 100,000 more people born in India living in London in 2018 than there were in 2008. The population of those born in Romania more than quadrupled over the decade and the number of people who were born in Italy has trebled. There are 18,000 fewer Kenyan-born Londoners in 2018 compared to 2008 and the population of Zimbabwean-born Londoners has fallen by 40%.

GCSE attainment by ethnicity (2020)

In general, GCSE attainment is higher in London than in the rest of England. This is true for both boys and girls, students who do not speak English as a first language, students with Special Educational Needs and students from minority ethnic backgrounds.

In both London and the rest of England, girls perform better at GCSE than boys, with 78% of girls achieving grades 9-4 (the equivalent of A*-C under the old system) in English and Maths in London, but only 72% of boys.

In London, students with English as a second language perform similarly to those who speak English as a first language, whilst in England those with English as their first language perform slightly better than those for whom English is the second language.

Students with Special Educational Needs have much lower attainment than the average student and the attainment gap is r…

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

Region Total population Population change (2010-2020) Population per km2 % BME % not UK-born
London sub-region: Central 1,607,000 14% 12,475 37% 39%
London sub-region: East 2,869,200 13% 6,214 44% 35%
London sub-region: North 999,000 9% 2,164 37% 40%
London sub-region: South 1,644,400 8% 4,221 30% 30%
London sub-region: West 1,882,800 6% 4,770 48% 43%
London 9,002,400 10% 5,727 40% 37%
Rest of England 47,547,700 6% 369 10% 11%

Data source: Mid-year population estimates (2020), Population of the UK by country of birth and nationality ONS (2019), via NOMIS. Ethnic group populations from Annual Population Survey ONS (2018), via London Datastore.

More than 9.0 million people live in London. Between 2010 and 20, London’s population increased at a faster rate than the rest of England. Central London saw the biggest increase (14%), in comparison to London’s overall growth of 10%, and the rest of England’s growth of 6%.

Central London has the highest level of population density with 12,475 people per km2, which is over twice the level of London overall. Still, London overall is 15 times more dense than the rest of England, with 5,727 and 369 people per km2 respectively.

40% of Londoners are Black and Minority Ethnic and 37% are not born in the UK. West London has the hig…

Net migration in London from the Rest of England by age (2019)

This indicator shows the difference between the number of people arriving and leaving London, by different age groups. A negative number shows that there are more people leaving than arriving.

In 2019, London saw large net inflows of those aged between 20 and 24 (33,982 people) and a smaller flow for those aged between 25 and 29 (8,303 people). In contrast, net migration was negative for those aged below 19 and above 29. The largest negative net flow was for those between the age of 30 and 39, where 37,220 more people were leaving than arriving in London. This number gradually decreases as the age groups become older. 

Additionally those between the age of 0 and 4 see a large negative net migration of 17,537, which most likely refer to the families with children moving out of London and into the rest of England. 

Net migration in London onl…

Migration in and out of London over time (2010/11 - 2019/20)

Net migration plays a relatively small role in explaining the increase in population seen in London over the last decade. Other indicators on London's Poverty Profile show that the fact that there are far more births than deaths in London each year (over 57,000 more births than deaths in 2019/20) is the main contributor to London’s increasing population. In fact, net migration reduced the overall population of London by 17,000 people in 2019/20, as more people left London than moved to London.

London net migratory balance has been decreasing since 2014/15, when the capital attracted almost 50,000 new residents from elsewhere, to 2018/19 and 2019/20, years in which London lost 17,000 residents due to migratory movements. In the last decade, London has consistently had a negative balance regarding net domestic migration, as more people…

Net migration between Inner and Outer London by age (2020)

This indicator shows the difference between the number of people arriving and leaving either Inner and Outer London, by different age groups. A negative number shows that there are more people leaving than arriving.

In 2020, Inner London saw the largest net inflows of those aged between 20 and 24 (15,950, although lower than 2019 which saw 24,464 people flow in in this age group). Next highest was again for those aged between 25 and 29 (5,578 - much attenuated from the 12,107 people in 2019 in this age band). 

Outer London saw a net inflow of those aged between 20 and 24 (9,463 similar to the previous year’s 9,360 people). Although in the same age group, there are 1,859 more people leaving than arriving into Outer London.

In contrast, net migration in both Inner and Outer London was negative for those aged below 15 and above 29. Net outflow…

People sleeping rough in London by nationality (2008/09 - 2020/21)

The number of people sleeping rough in London has trebled in a decade. Some 11,018 people were recorded sleeping rough in the capital in 2020/21 compared to 3,673 in 2009/10.

Most people sleeping rough are white, although the number of BAME people sleeping rough has risen faster than the number of white people. Of the people whose nationality is known, just under half are British citizens, with people from the rest of Europe making up most of the rest. A large majority (84%) of people sleeping rough in London are men.

More people sleep rough in Central London than in any other part of the capital. This is consistently the case, but the proportion of people sleeping rough who do so in Central London has fallen from over two thirds in 2011/12 to less than half in 2020/21. This has been primarily driven by a rise in rough sleeping in East Lon…

Worklessness for men and women in London by country of birth (2020/21 Q2)

Over two-thirds (68%) of working-age women in London who were born in Bangladesh did not work in the year to June 2020/21, the highest rate of any nationality. Pakistani women are not far behind with 65% not working. Of men in London who were born overseas, those from the Philippines and Bangladesh have the joint-highest rate of worklessness (28%).

South Africa has the lowest rates of worklessness for women (9%), while the USA has the lowest rate for men (5%). For most countries, the worklessness rate is higher for women than men, although this trend does not hold true for countries such as Lithuania, Portugal, Spain and Italy.