London population confirmed at record high

02 February 2015

The Mayor of London has confirmed that the capital is now home to more people than at any time in its history.

More than 8.6 million people are now living in London with the latest projections estimating that the city will be home to 11million people by 2050.

Today’s announcement confirms the capital’s status as the best big city in the world, but the Mayor believes it is also a reminder of the huge levels of investment needed to ensure the city can continue to operate efficiently and successfully and generate surplus taxes for the rest of the country.

To manage this growth sustainably, the Mayor has been consulting widely on his London 2050 Infrastructure Plan – the first ever attempt to set out the full range of infrastructure requirements over the next half century. He also set ambitious housing targets that aim to double the number of new homes built and has identified numerous sites across the capital that are each ripe for thousands of new homes and jobs.

The Mayor is on track to build a record 100,000 low cost homes for Londoners over his two terms, with more than 81,000 already completed. In this financial year, more affordable homes are expected to be built than in any other year since 1981.

He continues to stimulate house building with a range of pioneering new policies, including accelerating supply through housing zones and a housing bank - both delivering affordable housing options for working London families. In the meantime, the Mayor continues to campaign - alongside the UK's other large cities - for devolved property taxes, which would provide London government a secure income to help fund the infrastructure required for the capital's growth.

Latest population figures from the Mayor of London’s Office reveal that:

• London’s population has increased by almost two million people in the last 25 years.

• Hillingdon is the borough that has seen the most growth since 1939, increasing from 159,000 people to an estimated 289,000 in 2015 – a jump of 82 per cent

• Islington is the borough that has seen the biggest reduction in population, falling from 343,000 residents in 1939 to 221,000 in 2015 – a fall of 36 per cent

• Barnet is set to overtake Croydon to become the city’s most populous borough in the coming months. Both are set to be home to nearly 400,000 people.

• Just over 3.8million of London’s 8.6 million residents (44 per cent) are of a black and minority ethnicity origin.

• It is estimated that by 2038, 50 per cent of London’s population will be of a black and minority ethnicity origin.

• In 1939 the life expectancy of a Londoner was 62. Now it is 82. • Between 1939 and 1991, London lost one quarter of its population (2.2 million people) – or the equivalent of two Birminghams.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “London’s incredible population boom is testament to the fact that this is the best big city on the planet. With more green space than any other European city, a thriving economy, a low crime rate and a roaring cultural scene it is no surprise that London is the place to be. As our incredible city continues to grow, Londoners should rest assured that we are working tirelessly to provide the homes, water, energy, schools, transport, digital connectivity and better quality of life they expect.

“What we need now is the Government to grant greater fiscal devolution to London so that we can properly fund the key infrastructure that is so vital to stimulate jobs. It is crucial that we recognise the amazing opportunities that this kind of growth can offer and step up our investment now so that London continues to be the motor of the UK economy.”

The London Infrastructure Plan sets out detailed descriptions of how the challenges facing London might be met. They include

• Plans to improve transportation by maximising and extending Tube services. With demand for public transport is forecast to increase by 50 per cent, Crossrail 2 must be approved and further Crossrail projects may be required. Working with Network Rail, there is also huge opportunity to double capacity on the capital’s rail network.

A series of new river crossings are needed and an inner orbital road tunnel should be built.

• Green infrastructure needs to become considered as much a part of the city’s vital systems as our other utilities. An extra 9000ha of accessible green space needs to be provided in both traditional and new ways.

• With Broadband now considered the fourth utility the Mayor wants to see greater action taken to raise the UK and London’s connectivity to world class levels.

• With energy demands at risk of outstripping supply and key developments such as those at Nine Elms at risk of delay as a result, the Mayor argues a strong long term plan to use energy more efficiently and bring in new capacity where we can is vital.

• With an increasing school age population more than 600 new schools and colleges need to be provided.

• A more integrated approach to water management would help deal with demand for water which is predicted to exceed supply from as early as 2016.

• The Infrastructure plan also outlines plans to deal with waste by moving to a circular economy where goods are designed to be remanufactured, reused and recycled.

The Mayor has set up the London Infrastructure Delivery Board to ensure the capital can meet its infrastructure demands. The board represents sectors including transport, telecoms, energy, the environment, utilities, and construction.

The Mayor will shortly adopt the Further Alterations to the London Plan, an update to his city-wide planning strategy which addresses the key issues arising from London’s unprecedented population boom.

He will then commence a full review of the London Plan.

Notes to editors

The London Infrastructure Plan can be accessed at The latest population statistics for London, including a borough by borough breakdown from 1939, forward to 2039, can be accessed on the London Datastore 2 at The London Datastore 2 is a free, online data-sharing portal managed by the Greater London Authority containing vast reams of statistics on every aspect of life in London. The

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