Migrants

Date 31 August 2017
Date updated 20 April 2020
Overview

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

Migrants: Indicators

GCSE attainment by ethnicity (2018)

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 GCSEs than boys, with 71% of girls achieving grades 9-4 (the equivalent of A*-C under the old system) in English and Maths in London, but only 65% of boys. 

Students with English as a second language perform slightly better than those who speak English as a first language in London, whilst the opposite is true in the rest of England.  

Students with Special Educational Needs needs have much lower attainment than the average student and the attainment gap is roughly the same in London and the rest of England. 

In London, Asian…

Worklessness for men and women in London by country of birth (2019/20)

In 2019/20, of men in London who were born overseas, those from China have the highest rate of worklessness (30%). Of women in London who were born overseas, the highest rate of worklessness is 65%, for those born in Bangladesh. 

South Africa has the lowest rates of worklessness for both men (3%) and women (14%). For most countries, the worklessness rate is higher for women than men. However, this trend does not hold true for those born in Ireland.

People sleeping rough in London by nationality (2008/09 - 2019/20)

The number of people sleeping rough in London has almost trebled in a decade. Some 10,726 people were recorded sleeping rough in the capital in 2019/20 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, around half are British citizens, with EU citizens making up most of the rest. A large majority (83%) of people sleeping rough in London are men.

More people sleep rough in Central London than in any other part of the capital. This has been the case for some time, but the proportion of people sleeping rough who do so in Central London has fallen from over two thirds in 2011/12 to around half in 2019/20. This has been primarily driven by a rise in rough sleeping in East London.

This in…

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

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 recovering since the early 1990s and hit a new high of 9 million in 2019. 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 t…

Migration in and out of London over time (2009/10 - 2018/19)

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 70,500 more births than deaths in 2019) is the main contributor to London’s increasing population. In fact, net migration reduced the overall population of London by more 23,120 in 2016/17 and 16,583 in 2018/19, as more people left London than moved to London.

Net migration into London from the rest of the UK and overseas has fallen from nearly 50,000 people a year in 2014/15 to under 10,000 in 2017/18. This is mostly the result of more people moving from London to the rest of the UK and fewer people coming to London from abroad. 

More people leave London for the rest of the UK than m…

Net migration in Inner and Outer London by age (2018)

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 2018, Inner London saw large net inflows of those aged between 20 and 24 (20,734 people) and those aged between 25 and 29 (9,844). Outer London saw a net inflow of those aged between 20 and 24 (9,360 people). 

In contrast, net migration in both Inner and Outer London was negative for those aged below 15 and above 29. Net outflows from Inner London are particularly evident for those aged between 30 and 39.

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%.