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 (2010 and 2020)

Of Londoners not born in the UK, more were born in India than any other country. 349,000 Londoners were born in India and the second most common non-UK born country is Nigeria with a population of 135,000.

The foreign-born population in London from most countries has increased since 2010. For example, there were around 77,000 more people born in India living in London in 2020 than there were in 2010. The population of those born in Romania and Italy more than doubled over the decade.

GCSE attainment by ethnicity (2020)

GCSE attainment is higher in London than in the rest of England. This was 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.

Attainment increased from 2020 to 2019 both in London and the rest of England across almost all groups. The only exception were Asian students, whose grades fell between 2020 and 2019. The largest relative rise in attainment was recorded for students with special education needs.

The increase in grades from 2019 to 2020 far surpasses year-on-year increases observed historically, so it is unlikely to be wholly accounted for by regular grade inflation. Attainment in maths, for instance, fell between 2017 and 2019 in London, while attainment in English remained broadly similar. The sharp increase in …

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 34% 40%
London sub-region: East 2,869,200 13% 6,214 44% 37%
London sub-region: North 999,000 9% 2,164 34% 37%
London sub-region: South 1,644,400 8% 4,221 31% 31%
London sub-region: West 1,882,800 6% 4,770 50% 40%
London 9,002,400 10% 5,727 40% 37%
Rest of England 47,547,700 6% 369 11% 11%

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

More than 9.0 million people live in London. Between 2010 and 2020, London’s population increased at a faster rate than the rest of England. Central London saw the biggest increase (14%), closely followed by East London with 13%. London’s overall growth of 10% is higher than 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 b…

Net migration to or from London and the rest of England by age (2019 and 2020)

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 2020, London saw large net inflows of those aged between 20 and 24 (24,043 people) and a small inflow for those aged between 25 and 29 (2,376 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 35,645 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 14,780, which most likely refer to the families with children moving out of London and into the rest of England.

Compared to the previous yea…

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 group (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.

The latest mid-year figures (the year up to June 2020) show that Inner London experienced the largest net inflows of those aged between 20 and 24 –  with a net inflow of 15,950 people. However, when compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019,  this is almost 10,000 fewer people. Additionally, the next highest inflow levels were for those aged between 25 and 29 in Inner London –  with a net of 5,578 people in 2020. However, this is less than half of the people in comparison to pre-pandemic levels in 2019 (12,107 people).

Outer London saw a net inflow of those aged between 20 and 24 (9,463 similar to the previous year’s 9,360 people…

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 people from BAME backgrounds 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 sl…

Worklessness for men and women in London by country of birth (2020/21 Q3)

Just under two-thirds (65%) of working-age women in London who were born in Pakistan did not work in the year to September 2020/21, the highest rate of any nationality. Bangladeshi women are not far behind with 64% not working. Of men in London who were born overseas, those from Bangladesh and the Philippines have the joint-highest rate of worklessness (30% and 28%). 

Women originally from Portugal had the lowest rates of worklessness (14%), while those from Australia and Germany had the lowest rate for men (9%). 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, and Italy.