Barking and Dagenham has changed significantly since the turn of the millennium. There has been over 200% increase in non-UK born residents since the turn of the century. The age of the population is also much lower now. The exciting opportunity for those looking to target Millennials in the boundaries of this borough, as there was a nearly 50% rise in pre-schoolers between 2001 and 2011.
Barnet stands out for its politics in London. Much of London’s urban areas tend towards the Labour party. However, all three MPs in Barnet are Conservative, though Hendon is the most marginal seat for the Tories, with a majority in the hundreds. It could be argued this a borough that values stability and tradition.
Bexley is in the south-east of London and part of the suburban fringe of London, including some open areas of beautiful countryside, with river-side, heathland, hills and more. This is a tale of two boroughs, there are the long-established outer villages, and then there are fill-in houses built to cope with an ever-expanding population.
The keyword for Brent is diversity. There is the highest population of Irish in mainland UK, for instance. More than 30% identify with origins from South Asia. Interestingly, despite the diversity of people, these tend to be organised in pockets of communities. Seeking an understanding of the people of Brent is complex and requires you look carefully at the different communities of Mapesbury versus Kensal Green, for instance.
There is a strange mixed image of Bromley. Monty Python presented Bromley as a people who love Spam, while the Sex Pistols support crew was called the Bromley Contingent. Yet, most people in the borough own their house outright. Few people rent in the area, and there is one of the lowest rates of poverty in the city.
Camden Market probably sets the tone for this borough, with its drinking establishments, its eateries and its shops for fashion, music and art. As you would imagine from an area that sides with an enjoyable life, there is a youthful population.
The City of London is the plus-one in London. There are 32 London boroughs, and then there is The City. There are approximately 7000 residents in this borough but arguably some of the most affluent. Also, this does not count the significant wealth passing through each day. It is the national and international hub of insurance, investment and commodities.
Croydon has a bad public image. It is a borough that most claim to want to pass through rather than stop off and enjoy – and if you type Croydon into Google one of the popular searches is: “is Croydon safe?” There are trams, and there are face-lifts. There is a lot of noise about the fairness of this image, and some see this as a borough with lots of potential.
To the west of London and its outer ring, this is an area known as The Queen of the Suburbs. Despite the leafy greenness and distinct lack o diversity compared to the rest of London, Ealing is developing something of a night-time economy. This is a place of quality and pubs and restaurants.
Enfield has undergone much redevelopment, and there are large industrial and retail complexes in the borough. Particularly popular are large retail and leisure outlets on old industrial complexes. The main residential area is in the west of Enfield, which are scattered with green spaces.
The Royal Borough of Greenwich is the home to world-class museums, the Royal Observatory and sweeping views of parks. Greenwich is a place of culture, education and historical significance. This can make it expensive to spend your day, but it might just be worth it.
The Movement for Liveable London has named Hackney the most liveable borough in the city, due to its mix of restaurants, bars, pubs and outside spaces. It is a melting pot of people, with its eastern and southernmost edges perceived as the best part of the East End. Hackney is much improved since it was chosen for redevelopment during the Olympics.
Hammersmith and Fulham are in west London and has excellent access to the M1 and M4. It is also crossed by the A4 and A40. This makes the borough a popular location for major international companies. This is one of the most expensive boroughs for buying property.
Haringey is one of the more deprived boroughs in London and in the UK. However, this is a borough of extreme contrasts. Highgate, Muswell Hill and Crouch End are the most prosperous in the city. Yet, the easternmost area are hit by poverty. No Conservative politician has won in Haringey since 1968, and there has only been a maximum of 2 counsellors on the local council since 1994.
Harrow is a large suburban town in the north-west of London, some 10 miles from the centre. It is the home to the world-famous independent boarding school for boys, and the campus of the University of Westminster dominates the borough.
On the outer edges of Easter London, the main town of the borough is Romford, but Hornchurch is also popular. The population density in the borough is relatively low, as there are miles upon miles of protected land called the Metropolitan Green Belt. With low crime and low unemployment, this is a desirable area of London to live.
With Heathrow Airport located to the west of the borough, Hillingdon is a popular site for industry and logistics. Large residential areas make up South Hillingdon, which developed thanks to transport links that became known in the area as Metro-land.
Known for its commercial outlets, Hounslow is part of Outer London, on its western edges but is unique in that it stretches into central London. This makes the borough a diverse area that is not easily categorised. The economy is helped by its close association with Heathrow Airport.
You may know this place as Angel Islington, which is named after an inn that was established in the 16th century. It was called the Angel. Even when the borough merged with Finsbury, to become a single district, it still remains one of the smallest in London and the UK. It has become renowned for its famous MP, Jeremy Corbyn – though Arsenal Football Club is well-known too.
Kensington and Chelsea make up the smallest borough in London, even though it enjoys a royal status. This is one affluent area, housing some of the wealthiest areas in the country, including Notting Hill and Knightsbridge. Harvey Nichols, Harrods, and Peter Jones, as well as many international embassies in Belgravia.
The retail area of Kingston is equal to Covent Garden in terms of the amount of money spent in the area, despite the fact it sprawls across a large portion of southwest London. There is a lively night-life on the riverfront, but this is mostly a place with a small-town feel.
Lambeth is quintessential London for those from abroad. It is part of inner London and includes some highly gentrified areas of Gipsy Hill, Streatham and West Dulwich. However, this is also the home of inner-city Brixton, which is densely populated and full of diverse culture.
The borough of Lewisham may be part of London, but it has the feel of a town. The diversity of the population tends to mirror that of the UK, though there is an apparent lack of Level 3 qualifications amongst the young. This means that few young people move beyond school age learning and creates a limitation on opportunities.
Merton is a lesser-known borough but is best known for one of its major commercial centres, Wimbledon – and a certain tennis tournament. Despite the luxury of this event and a low poverty rate of 20%, there is inequality across the borough. Wimbledon may be affluent, but Mitcham and Morden suffer high levels of deprivation.
A youthful and multi-culture borough, Newham may have the most interesting population, but it is also one of the poorest. Although unemployment is relatively low, most of the community are in low paid work. There is a lot of work in the area to improve green spaces.
Redbridge is one of the greenest spaces in London – with parks, wildlife sanctuaries and woodland. There are ornamental gardens and the beautiful Valentines Mansion. You are likely to live longer if you choose to spend that life in Redbridge. Life expectancy is higher in this area, and you will also mix with the broadest ethnic group of any London borough.
In the south-west of London, part of the city’s outer ring, it is the only borough that enjoys land on both sides of the riverbank. This is an area of loosely bound villages. ‘Village’ is used as a broad term for a large population of people that seeks to keep a rural way of life. If we tell you that this is home to Hampton Court Park and Kew Gardens, you will realise that nature is essential here – especially with the London Wetlands Centre as a draw.
The borough of Southwark is right in the centre of the action, with a direct connection to the City of London by many of its famous bridges. It is a place of culture, with Tate Modern, Shakespeare Globe – and all that the South Bank has to offer. It is also home to The Shard.
In the south west of London, in its outer ring, it is known for some of the school with the best results in the country. Along with the low crime rate, this makes it a highly desirable place for families to live. It was named by a Family Hotspots Report as one of the best places for families to live in London.
This is a crowded area of London, and its population continues to grow significantly. In the five years between 2011 and 2016, there was a jump of 50,000 people. This makes it an overcrowded and poor area, with a large immigrant population. The large, low paid workforce makes this an appealing borough for large manufacturing companies. A short brief about Tower Hamlets.
In 2019, Waltham Forest was the London Borough of Culture. There is a project of community funding to encourage arts, crafts and performance. As this was the birthplace of the Arts and Crafts Movement, under the guidance of William Morris, it is clear to see they are playing to their strength. Waltham Forest, like with Hackney, enjoyed improved facilities and opportunities thanks to the Olympics in 2012.
With the notorious honour of sharing a name with one of the most infamous prisons, Wandsworth I an inner-city district of London. The housing stock is relatively modest, and there are occasional greens and parks. Despite this unpretentious appearance, Wandsworth has the lowest rate of unemployment in London, and most are perceived as well paid.
Next to the City of London is the City of Westminster. This is how the English try to confuse visitors, as these are cities within the City of London. Westminster is the centre of everything you know to be English: Big Ben, Tower Bridge, Parliament and more. This is the tourist centre of London.
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