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London's population over time

Key points

  • In 2015 the population of London was around 8.7 million: 3.4 million in Inner London and 5.2 million in Outer London.
  • It is projected that by 2021 London's population will be higher than its 1930s peak.
  • Kensington & Chelsea was the smallest borough with a population of 156,000 and Croydon was the largest with over 375,000.

Population in Inner and Outer London

What does this graph show?

In 2015 (using GLA projections) the population of London is around 8.7 million. The 13 Inner London boroughs have a population of 3.4 million and the 20 Outer London boroughs a population of 5.2 million. By 2021 London's population is expected to grow to 9.3 million (3.7 million in Inner London and 5.6 million in Outer London).

The 1960s and 1970s were periods of rapid decline, with London's population falling by 1.4 million to below 7 million. In the 1990s and 2000s it rapidly increased by 1.3 million to reach 8.2 million. It is now estimated that London's population is higher than its peak in the 1930s and will continue to rise, although this is due to Outer London's population being larger than it has ever been as Inner London's is still lower than its pre-war peak.

London is divided into 32 boroughs which vary significantly in size. According to the 2014 mid-year population statistics Kensington & Chelsea was the smallest borough with a population of 156,000 and Croydon was the largest with over 375,000. While London is one city-region in its entirety, it's worth noting that 10 boroughs have populations over 300,000 - about the same as the cities of Newcastle or Nottingham.

Data used

Historical Census data and GLA 2014-based population projections

Indicator last updated: 20 October 2015