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London population boom: number living in the capital set to hit all-time high within weeks

London's exploding population is on the brink of hitting an all-time high, more than three quarters of a century after it peaked on the eve of the Second World War.

Some estimates have suggested the historic landmark of just over 8.615 million could be reached as soon as tomorrow — but at the very latest by early February.

Statisticians believe the record-breaking Londoner is likely to be born in a maternity ward in the first few weeks of 2015, in one of the capital’s outer boroughs where population growth rates are highest.



Simon Jenkins: London keeps calling - now the city must cope with the crush

Population growth, of course, overcrowds everything. Newcomers may not care, existing residents do. But to complain about house prices during a boom is to complain about the weather. All my life, London housing has been “in crisis”. When a city’s economy turns up, so does the price of space. Trains get more crowded, schools get more frantic, hospitals more jammed, economists more hysterical. Cities must take the rough with the smooth (Hong Kong is far worse).

But there are other costs to size. A boom turns the heads of politicians and planners. It dazzles them and stops them thinking clearly. With London’s financial sector shrinking after the crash, it made sense to direct investment away from the core. It was therefore senseless to build Crossrail 1 to the City rather than Crossrail 2 (Hackney to Wimbledon). It is also doubtful whether we really need a £4.2 billion Thames super-sewer, let alone a giant sports complex at Stratford or an HS2 crashing through north-west London. We certainly do not need 40 empty towers along the Thames. These are the follies of politicians drunk on other people’s money.

It is London’s outer boroughs that desperately need better road and rail links, allowing their housing densities to rise and pressure to lessen on the inner city. We can joke about the South Circular but it is a London disgrace. The orbital railway, “R25”, is Johnson’s most sensible planning idea but it is unreal given the billions he is wasting elsewhere. Sooner or later taxpayers in the rest of Britain will rebel against being forced to subsidise London’s growth.


We all have our theories for what changed. To me it was a mix of Mrs Thatcher’s City deregulation, the decontrol of rents and soaring immigration. When money pours into a city, so do jobs and people. London’s annual population growth of 100,000 equates broadly to the estimated 100,000 new arrivals from overseas. As a result the majority of Londoners are no longer “white British”. The Met’s 999 call centre has to translate 150 world languages.


Boris Johnson: it’s a disaster that some UK citizens don’t speak English

Britain’s “multi-culty Balkanisation” of society, in which primary school children have been taught in their parents’ language, has led to a disaster in which many UK citizens cannot speak English, Boris Johnson has said.

He said: “Everybody who comes to London, everybody who comes to work in our economy, should be able to speak English … If you go to Tower Hamlets, you can find people who have been there for several generations who still don’t speak English.

“The media is so massive now, so diverse that people can be tuned in to their own communities and not feel the need to learn the common language of this city and this country. That is a great, great shame. It is a huge wasted opportunity for them. I think everybody in this country, particularly people working in our public services, should speak English.

“I am amazed by reports that people cannot make themselves understood in English in this country to people in the NHS. That is completely wrong. I am sure NHS managers will be taking steps to sort it out. I think we should have a culture in this country that if you come here, you do as the Romans do: you learn English and you speak English. I don’t mean this in a punitive sense. This is a wasted opportunities for these families.”




Foreigners in UK more likely to have a degree: Third of those born abroad have university-level qualifications compared to a quarter of Britons

UK is magnet for highly educated EU migrants, research shows






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