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London’s population was increasing the fastest among the regions in 2012

The 2013 ONS regional characteristics analysis for London

The latest ONS Region and Country Profiles analysis takes a look at the regional characteristics of the nine regions within England and countries of the UK, exploring aspects such as population, age, employment, crime and house prices. The profile of London shows it to be the smallest region in area although it had the greatest growth in population. London contributed nearly a quarter of the UK’s economic output. The population was the youngest in the UK with a median age of 34.0, and the incidence of crimes in the region was the highest in England.

London is the smallest region by area

London is the smallest region in terms of area, occupying 1,600 square kilometres (sq km), less than 1% of the total area of the UK. London had a population of 8.3 million at mid-2012, 13% of the total UK population. This was 1.3% more than in mid-2011, the highest regional increase, compared with an increase of 0.7% for the UK over the same period.

London was the most densely populated part of the UK, population density in mid-2012 standing at 5,285 people per sq km. The averages for England and the UK were 411 and 263 people per sq km respectively.

The region’s population is the youngest in the UK

London’s age profile is younger than that of the UK as a whole, with a median age of 34.0 years in 2012, compared with 39.7 years for the UK. People aged 65 and over made up 11.3% of the population, the lowest regional percentage, compared with the UK average of 17.0%. Life expectancy at birth in 2009 to 2011 was 79.3 years for males and 83.6 years for females, above the England averages (78.9 and 82.9 years respectively).

Crime rates in 2012/13 in London were the highest in England. There were 95 police-recorded crimes per 1,000 population compared with 64 per 1,000 population across England. An estimated 245 crimes against households were reported to the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) per 1,000 households, compared with 217 per 1,000 households for England.

London generates a fifth of the UK’s total economic output

The region generated over a fifth (22%) of the UK’s total economic output (gross value added or GVA) in 2011, a share larger than any of the English regions, and a larger share than for Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. The rate of business creation in London was the highest at 14.6% in 2011, compared with 11.2% for the UK. However, the unemployment rate in Q2 2013 was 8.8%, which was above the UK figure of 7.8%.

In April 2012, median gross weekly earnings for full-time adult employees in London were the highest in the UK at £613, compared with £506 for the UK. Gross disposable household income (GDHI) per head of London residents was the highest of all regions and countries of the UK. At £20,500, in 2011, it was 28% higher than the UK average.

House prices in London are notably the highest in the UK. The average house price in June 2013 was £425,000 compared with £242,000 for the UK. This was 8.1% more than a year earlier, compared with the UK figure of 3.1%.

The traffic on major roads in London decreased by 8.6% between 2002 and 2012. This was the larger of only two decreases across all regions, compared with an increase of 2.0% for England. The region produced 4.9 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per resident in 2011, the lowest of all the English regions, compared with an average of 6.7 tonnes per resident for England.

Where can I find out more about ONS regional statistics?

These statistics were analysed by the Sub-national Reporting team at the ONS using data from a range of official statistics. If you’d like to find out more about the latest regional statistics, please see our Notes on Sources, latest tables (260.5 Kb Excel sheet) and interactive mapping and charting tool or visit our Directory of Tables page. If you have any comments or suggestions, we’d like to hear them! Please email us at

Categories: People and Places, Communities, Neighbourhoods and Communities, Agriculture and Environment, Business and Energy, Crime and Justice, Economy, Labour Market, Housing and Households, Housing Market, Population, Travel and Transport
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