Closing time: London's public houses

Date published: 
13 April 2017

Current Issues Note 53 assesses some of the data available to understand what has been happening to the number of pubs, and employment therein, in London.

  • The number of pubs and bars in London has fallen by 25 per cent over the past 15 years, from 4,835 in 2001 to 3,615 in 2016. This is a net loss of 81 pubs per year. 
  • However, over the same period, employment in London pubs increased by 8.7 per cent, from 42,600 in 2001 to 46,300 in 2016. This is a net gain of 247 jobs per year. 
  • Two London boroughs reported a loss of over 50 per cent of their pubs – Barking and Dagenham (a loss of 56 per cent) and Newham (52 per cent). Other badly-affected boroughs include Croydon (45 per cent), Waltham Forest (44 per cent), Hounslow (42 per cent) and Lewisham (41 per cent). Hackney, the only borough that did not report an overall loss, saw an increase of 3 per cent since 2001.

The underlying data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) can be accessed on the London Datastore.

View the interactive map using the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) data which shows the net loss of public houses per London borough.

CAMRA’s (the Campaign for Real Ale) data, listing each individual public house in London, can be viewed on this map