foreign born people in london

Immigration to the UK

The United Kingdom is an attractive destination for many immigrants. The current number of people born outside of the UK in the country stands at around 9.5 million which accounts for 14% of the population as a whole. It is perhaps interesting to note that only 36% of these people living in the UK were born inside the European Union (around 3.6 million) despite the principle of free movement which was provided during the UK’s former membership of the EU. Therefore, the remaining 68% of the UK’s foreign-born population have come from outside of the EU, accounting for around 5.9 million people. The main motivations for coming to the UK are for formal study (35% of immigrants) and for work (32%).

Demographics of London

Located in the south-east of England, London is both the UK’s largest and capital city, with a population of around 9.3 million in 2020. In fact, London’s population is almost four times as large as Birmingham, the UK’s second city situated in the West Midlands. London is also the third largest city in Europe behind Istanbul (14.8 million) and Moscow (10.3 million).

Foreign-Born People Living in London

London truly deserves its title as a cosmopolitan city. The UK’s migrant population is centred around London as 35% of the entire foreign-born population lives in London. In addition, 37% of the people living in London were born outside of the UK, 24% of which were born outside of Europe. Therefore, the number of foreign-born residents in London is currently around 3,317,000 people. As a result, it is the city with the second largest immigrant population after New York City. 

In keeping with its multicultural identity, many languages are spoken in London as only around 80% of the city’s population speaks English as a first language. Other spoken languages include Polish, French, Bengali, Gujarati, Portuguese and Turkish. 

Here is a list of the top ten countries of origin for immigrants living in London (as of 2018):

  1. India: 304,000
  2. Bangladesh: 144,000
  3. Poland: 142,000
  4. Romania: 136,000
  5. Italy: 121,000
  6. Pakistan: 115,000
  7. Ireland: 103,000
  8. Nigeria: 84,000
  9. Sri Lanka: 79,000
  10. Jamaica: 75,000
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