Many things haven’t been normal during these past two years — even the buzzing, busy metropolis that is London town saw a predicted decrease in population, which had been pretty much unheard of before.
In fact, this was the first time a decline in the capital’s population had occurred since the 1980s (’88, to be precise). An economic report in early 2021 predicted it would fall by around 300,000, largely due to Brexit and the pandemic.
Lockdowns meant that many simply could not justify living in expensive accommodation in a city with such a high cost of living at such an uncertain period. Moreover, the study found that far fewer people were having children in comparison to pre-Covid levels.
Now that more businesses are operating closer to pre-pandemic levels, and industries like the hospitality sector back up and running, a new study has found that the population in London appears to be growing once again.
Workers at City Hall found that many who left London during lockdown begun heading back to the city in large numbers, particularly in the spring and summer months of 2021.
In the study, the analysts found that London’s population had “likely resumed growing, albeit at a slower rate than it had been before the pandemic”.
City Hall also found that the “natural change” in population (difference between birth and death rates) had fallen during the pandemic, unfortunately due to the spike in Covid-related deaths at the start of the pandemic, and the subsequent drop in people having children during lockdown.
While Covid deaths have decreased, birth rates have continued declining (as they had before the pandemic), and older groups leaving London has continued. However, younger age groups returning or moving to London has offset these numbers, leading to an expected population growth once more.
There were fears that the effects of the pandemic and Brexit may have led to a permanent decrease in London’s population of nine million, but the study has found that this is no longer a concern. However, the study emphasises that this must continue to be a “work in progress” as the “pandemic is not over”.
You can read the study, first published in May 2021 with a February 2022 annex, here.