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London population hits record high amid migration surge

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LONDON’s population has reached a new peak driven by a surge in migration, reversing the trend of people leaving the city during the Covid-19 pandemic, The Telegraph reported.

According to recent research from the Centre for Cities think tank, the capital’s population has likely surpassed its pre-pandemic level of 10.1 million people.

During the pandemic, thousands of Londoners sought more spacious living arrangements outside the city, causing a decline in population by 75,500 between mid-2019 and mid-2021.

However, this trend has now reversed, with international migration playing a significant role in the city’s population growth.

In 2022 alone, around 66,000 people moved to London, bringing the population back to 10.1 million.

The report said that international migration has been the primary driver of population growth in the last two years. Despite the pandemic, net migration to London remained positive, standing at 38,170 in 2019-20 and 73,660 the following year.

This population surge raises concerns about the strain on London’s infrastructure and public services. According to the report, the city’s infrastructure is struggling to cope with the growing demand, impacting services such as healthcare.

Paul Swinney, director of policy and research at the Centre for Cities, stressed the urgent need for more house building to address the crisis that existed long before the pandemic.

He underscored the importance of investing in public transport and other infrastructure projects to accommodate the growing population.

London is a key driver of economic growth in the country, and delays in infrastructure projects could constrain its potential, the report pointed out. The capital’s share of UK output and employment is expected to remain significant in the coming years.

“Policymakers have to shake off any assumption that population changes mean questions over the housing shortage and infrastructure will solve themselves. Nor will smaller, less affluent places see huge influxes of professional workers with greater spending power,” Andrew Carter, chief executive of Centre for Cities, was quoted as saying.

“There are big decisions to make like continuing to invest in the public transport network, for example the Bakerloo Line extension and Crossrail 2, so that people can get around.”

The think tank also attributed London’s population growth to a crackdown on remote working. While the future of hybrid working remains uncertain, there is a notable increase in commuters returning to the city, contributing to its increase in population.

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