The 2011 Census – More Information On London’s Increasingly Diverse Population

2011 census london ethnic diversityYesterday the Office For National Statistics (ONS) released the second set of data from the 2011 national census, which reveals some very interesting information about London.

If you didn’t know it already, the data confirms that London’s population is growing increasingly diverse. Here are some of the rather startling key facts:

  • Only 78 percent of residents have English as their first language.
  • Of the remaining 22 percent some 320,000 say that their command of English isn’t good, or indeed that they don’t speak  it at all
  • The ONS data shows that of the languages spoken in the capital, fifty three are what they categorise as  ‘main languages’ (spoken by at least one in every thousand people) with another fifty four counted, which include obscure tongues such as Cornish and Creole.
  • While you might think that London’s Asian community dominates the linguistic make-up of the capital, in fact London’s second most common language is Polish – this reflects the influx of large numbers of migrants since the country’s entry into the European Union
  • My borough, Newham, is the second most diverse borough in the capital with 104 languages spoken in total and 40 percent reporting a language other than English as their mother tongue
  • Nearly one in eight people in London indicates their religion as Islam – there are over 1 million muslims in Greater London
  • Due in part to the popularity of Boris Bikes, we Londoners are increasingly taking to two wheels when we travel – while the percentage is still small, over 161,000 report using bikes on a regular basis

You’ll find all of this information in the ONS’s second data release from the 2011 Census here. For easy to digest summaries and maps, The Greater London Authority’s London Datastore allows you to easily visualise the data from the release at this site.