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London’s population decline by 75,000 during Covid

  • April 3, 2024
  • 2 min read
London’s population decline by 75,000 during Covid

London’s population has dropped by 75,000 during the pandemic but has since “bounced back” according to a report from a think tank. Centre for Cities said that Londoners had a “short-lived” escape out of the capital to the country during the Covid pandemic but said that the city’s population is believed to be higher than it has ever been.

The capital’s infrastructure was “creaking under the weight of its population,” the independent think tank has warned. The growth was “testament” to London being “the best city in the world” according to a spokesperson for the Mayor of London.

International migration, according to the report, continued during the pandemic but at a lower rate than usual. But migration from London to the countryside was what led to the city’s decline in population from 2020 and 2021. As many as 191,000 people left the capital.

Those aged 30 to 45 left in “abnormally large numbers” during that time, the think tank said. This led to a net loss of around 93,600 people among that age group. That is nearly double for a normal year, according to the report. As a result, the capital’s population dropped by 75,500 people between mid-2019 and mid-2021, a drop of around 0.7%. That is equivalent to the population of Tunbridge Wells in Kent or a similarly sized town.

58% of those who left moved within commuting distance to London, moving to the South-East and East of England, in line with the usual pattern.

Some inner boroughs, Centre for Cities found, are now seeing a higher population than their pre-pandemic levels. These include Camden and Tower Hamlets. Camden saw 2,430 more people moving from other parts of England and Wales than moved out between 2021 and 2022. The average for a typical year before the pandemic was 1,710.

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