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Analysis of Migrants in London

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Published: Tue, 27 Feb 2018

The capital of both England and the United Kingdom, throughout the previous two millennia London has proven to be an internationally significant political, cultural and commercial epicentre, particularly with regard to the recent phenomenon of globalisation. The population of London totals approximately seven million residents, the metropolitan area of which includes in excess of twelve million people.

Its official formation dates to the first century AD, wherebyLondinium enjoyed the position of the capital of the Roman Empire in the province of Britannia (Anderson, 1996): by the eighteenth century London was considered the largest city in the world and the nucleus of the British Empire.

London has long been a magnet for migrants, both domestic andinternational. The capital city has, for centuries, enjoyed a somewhatdelicate relationship with many cultures, religions and faiths, andwith a resident population representative of predominant globalnationalities (Sassen, 2001). In excess of two hundred languages arespoken in the capital, indicative of the importance of the city as anucleus for the immigration of refugees and migrants throughouthistory. The medieval era was a significantly active period for thesettlement of migrants in London, particularly with immigrants fromEurope. Though encouraged by William the Conqueror, in the eleventh andtwelfth centuries, to relocate to England, the Jewish population weresubsequently ejected from the country during the thirteenth century(Montefiore Hyamson, 2001).

The majority of the capital’s international trade was controlled andmonopolised by the foreign merchants, themselves immigrants to thecity, and, as in the twentieth century, history has witnessed thedevelopment of specific industries and trades by the skilled foreignmigrants relocating to London. The presence of black minorities in thecity has been felt since the Tudor period, and, though many arrived asfree citizens, the slave trade in Africa consequentially increased theblack population of London significantly following the 1570s (Houston,1996). The metamorphosis of predominant religion in England, followingthe country’s estrangement from the Catholic Church, resulted in themigration of a momentous quantity of persecuted Protestant refugeesfrom the Continent, the majority of which settled in London. Fourcenturies later, the Second World War culminated in the shortage ofcapable workers in the capital, and encouraged the migration of labourto London from Europe: until the early 1960s, England was active in thecolonies of the West Indies and India, recruiting labour for the worstaffected areas of the United Kingdom. Subsequently, British citizensfrom colonial nations, such as those Cypriot citizens dispossessed bythe invasion of Turkey, have sought refuge in the capital, and the cityremains a sanctuary for foreign citizens living in fear or persecutedby problematic regimes. In addition, and similar to many capitalcities, London attracts many domestic migrants from across the UK, asignificant number of which augment the homeless population of theregion.

In the twentieth century, the continual influx of a variety ofcultures, ethnicities and religions has resulted in a capital city thatis extremely diverse, energetic and dynamic (Kymlicka, 1996). London iscurrently one of the most substantial cities, with a total land area of1,584 km2, and is considered the most heavily populated city in Europewith approximately 7.4 million inhabitants and a ratio of approximately4,665 individuals per km2; in the European Union, London is third onlyto Paris and Brussels with regard to population density figures(Kershen, 1997). As such, it is unremarkable, therefore, that a rapidlychanging population structure should affect and impinge upon both theeconomy and housing market. According to recent research conducted bythe Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, rental costs areincreasingly exponentially as a result of the significantly high demandfor property (HM Treasury and Office of the Deputy Prime Minister,2005). This paper will attempt to review the increase in immigration toLondon, specifically contrast data from two economically and culturallycontrasting boroughs, explicitly Kensington and Lambeth. The paper willalso assess the economic effects of migration to the city, particularlywith regard to the associated increase in rental costs and deficienciesin the housing market.

Table 1: Household projections (based on principal projections). Officeof National Statistics (2003b) Revised international migrationestimates 1992-2001. London, Office of National Statistics

Table 2: Household projections (based on 172,000 per annum net migration): regional spread based on regional net overseas inward migration rates. Office of National Statistics (2003b) Revised international migration estimates 1992-2001. London, Office of National Statistics

Table 3: Household projections (based on 172,000 per annum netmigration): regional spread of increases as per the principal projections. Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (2003) SustainableCommunities: Building for the Future. London, ODPM

Table 4: Greater London migration 1991-2001, in thousands. Office of national Statistics (2003b) Revised international migration estimates1992-2001. London, Office of National Statistics

The arrival the Normans to Britain, and their subsequent invasion, heralded a new era of political, religious and economic migrations to the United Kingdom. The anti-Semitic sentiments throughout the continent encouraged the migration of Jewish merchants and craftsmen to London, though the Jewish communities remained purposefully insular and burial provisions were restricted to a single Jewish cemetery until1177 (Montefiore Hyamson, 2001). The seemingly global opinion of London as a political and religious refuge for the persecuted, the displaced and the dispossessed has continued for a further millennium, and subsequently, the capital has evolved into a multi-cultural,multi-ethnicity amalgamation that appears irresistible to many domestic and foreign migrants into the twenty-first century (Kymlicka, 1996).

London’s reputation as a quintessentially global city, considered by some commentators to be the most international city in the world, can trace its history to its relative tolerance towards culturally diverse residents; a phenomenon which was emphasised during the post-colonial migration of British citizens from former Empire nations (Favell,2001). In addition, the latter decades of the twentieth century witnessed remarkable exoduses from the ecumenical labour market, with significant, though largely not quantified, migration into London. To many international observers, London appears to be the zenith of contrariness. Geographically, the city maintains its manufacturing and service industries in the northern and southern regions, with business, financial and retail districts dominating the centre of London (Sassen, 2001). In 2004, the city and its thirty-two boroughs exhibited anestimated 7,421,228 residents giving London the status of the jointmost populated city in Europe (in addition to Moscow) (Wrigley, 2004), however, the accuracy of population data for the capital is perpetually under debate due to its reliance on resident participation in returning official surveys, and subsequent analyses proposed that the population on Census Day totalled a figure approximating 7.3 million inhabitants. Indeed, the governmental estimation of the city’s populace conducted in 2003 suggested that the official figure is approximately 7,387,900 (Office of National Statistics, 2003a).

The population of London is directly and significantly affected and altered by both migration and the natural life-events of birth and death. While the birth and death rate of the city has, in recent decades, remained reasonably stable as a result of the deficit infectious disease and significant military conflict (Office for national Statistics, 2005a), the population is continually and incomparably influenced by migratory trends. London exhibits a disproportionately high demographic of citizens within the 20-44 year old age bracket, a feature directly attributable to inbound domestic and foreign migration. Relying on the official 2001 Census alone, migration figures in the 12 month period prior to the research suggest that Greater London favoured comparably with the remainder of the United Kingdom, both possessing an inward migration equating to approximately 12% of the residential population. The Census indicated that Inner London, however, had experienced a markedly higher migratory influx, with approximately 17.5% of the population represented. Similarly, migration from abroad totaled approximately 1.2% of the population for outer London, however, this contrasts significantly with the foreign inbound migration statistics for inner London, which approximate 2.5%. It is, however, imperative to appreciate thatimmigration into the United Kingdom is frequently and substantiallychallenged by illegal entry, and, inevitably, any figures relating tomigration from aboard are conceivably underrepresented. (Office ofNational Statistics, 2001: table KS24)

Statistics for the United Kingdom indicate a prevalence of females than males in the population, with an average across age brackets of 50.7%(Office for National Statistics, 2005a) and predominantly more females than males in all age brackets post-30 years. London conforms to this trend, with an average proportion of females at 50.6 per cent. However,the profile of London with regard to the demographics of age, and in contrast with the United Kingdom as a whole, indicates that residents in the capital incline towards younger than average age brackets: the mean age for the United Kingdom is approximately 38.9, compared to 36.5for the resident population of London (Office for National Statistics,2005a). From data collated in 2003, the under-7 and 22-43 year old age bracket are significantly overrepresented in London in comparison to the population of the United Kingdom, however, representation in other age brackets from the London data is appreciably lower, with notably fewer people presenting in the 12-15 and 49+ age brackets. From the same 2003 data, approximately 35% of the population of the United Kingdom were placed in the 20-44 year old age bracket, comparable to 44per cent from the residential population of London. This bracket is particularly significant as it is responsible for rates of both economic activity and virtually all births.

Within the previous decade, available data indicates that net migration into the United Kingdom averaged approximately 166,000 per annum(Office of National Statistics, 2003a; Office of National Statistics,2003b). Furthermore, between 2004 and 2031 the population of the country is estimated to increase by approximately 7.2 million, with 83per cent of this increase allegedly attributable to immigration (Office for National Statistics, 2005b)). These projections suggest that an estimated 1,003,000 new residential structures will be required for the subsequent 17 year period (Lords Hansard, 2004) to contend with this substantial inbound migration, approximating to 59,000 properties per annum. According to the 2001 Census, the population of the UnitedKingdom’s second largest city, Birmingham, is approximately 977,000residents, and therefore, the projected housing requirements of future immigrants alone are monumental. Seventy per cent of recent immigration from aboard has been to London, however, within the past decade an equilibrium has been achieved, with approximately 100,000 domestic residents vacating London, and relocating to other regions in the United Kingdom, as approximately 100,000 migrants arrive.

It is virtually impossible to accurately project for population changes due to illegal immigration, and therefore it is realistic to suggest that the net approximation of 172,000 migrants per annum for the subsequent two decades (2001 to 2021) is a minimum figure. However, without accurate statistics governing the immigration of illegal aliens to the United Kingdom, it is impractical to analyse total demographics migratory patterns. For the domestic population, the deficit in accommodation is currently problematic, however, worst-case scenario predictions suggest that a total housing requirement per annum may be closer to 155,000 – a significant shortfall of 35,000 new residences, even after allowance for demolitions and conversions (Council ofMortgage Lenders, 2003)). Appreciating the requirements of the domestic population in addition to migration, the requirement of accommodation per annum will, allegedly, approximate 200,000 new houses (Hamnett,2003). Subsequently, an increasing in building construction of approximately 66 per cent will be essential to integrate the increased citizenry into the population.

The United Kingdom is, fundamentally, grossly unprepared for the current trends in inbound population migration, predominantly the result of considerably inaccurate assumptions involved in demographic predictions during the 1990s (Wrigley, 2004). These predictions suggested that the inward migration per annum from 1999 would approximate 65,000 individuals, however, data collated at the beginning of the twenty-first century indicated that a conservative figure for inbound migration approximated in excess of twice the originally predicted quantity. The government-commissioned Housing Statistics report illustrates the direct correlation between migration and significant alterations of population levels and structure, and calculated that an adjustment of plus or minus 40,000 in inbound migration per annum results in a difference in adult residential population by 2021 of approximately plus or minus 870,000 (Office for National Statistics, 2005b) With the exception of disease and epidemic control, in the twenty-first century the government has negligible control over natural life-events, such as birth and death, however, administration of population changes relating to inbound migrationpatterns are possible, thereby directly influencing the housing requirements of the United Kingdom. Despite the limited projection of65,000 inbound migrants per annum, government estimations suggest that, between 1996 and 2021, approximately 700,000 new households would be created as a result of migration (Office of National Statistics, 2003b)

The financial implications of migration and housing are numerous.Currently, the cost of accommodation is unprecedentedly high, particularly for those in lower income brackets, which invariably include labour forces essential to the construction and manufacturing industries. In recent decades the political reaction to this conundrum involved the international recruitment of workers (Angrist and Kugler,2003), however, this has essentially resulted in an impasse: a further increase in the demand for accommodation and encouraging an outward migration of the crucial labour force to other regions of the UnitedKingdom and, thus, necessitating the international recruitment of even more employees.

It is plausible to assume that inbound migration into London will continue to increase in the foreseeable future (Office of NationalStatistics, 2005b). Principally, this prediction is a result of the2004 admittance and inclusion of previously Communist nations into the European Union, an event which has the potential to increase in the quantity of legally-issued work permits, thereby encouraging the migration to London of citizens from these new EU member states.Independent estimates suggest that, should this prediction be realised, inbound migration to London may rise by between 20 and 25 per cent,thus further increasing the pressure on the currently inadequate housing market, potentially doubling the requirement for new accommodation from immigration alone from approximately one million new homes to a figure close to two million (Council of Mortgage Lenders,2003). During the previous four decades, however, rates of construction with regard to new houses have significantly diminished. Throughout the1960’s, new housing projects attained a pinnacle of approximately350,000 per annum, however, the current rate of house building falls below 150,000; recognising the quantity of annual demolitions, the net quantity of new housing projects corresponds to a figure closer to120,000 (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, 2003).

Literature review
The majority of studies relating to migratory patterns, impact on society and the requirement of associated provisions have been largely undertaken by governmental bodies. However, several independent analyses indicate that the predictions of the government are fundamentally inaccurate due to the substantial error margin incurred via illegal migratory patterns, of both domestic residents and those immigrating from overseas (Dustmann et al., 2005). According to articles published in The Economist, London has absorbed approximately680,000 migrants from overseas without an explicit and visible loss of countryside or heritage areas (Hatton and Tani, 2005). Partially, this is the result of the redevelopment of disused industrial sites with previously scant residential areas, such as the Docklands. However, it must also be appreciated that migration to the city has resulted in an exponential rise in the price of land and property in London, in comparison to the rest of the United Kingdom, encouraging the indigenous population to take advantage of this market boom, sell property and relocate elsewhere.

The effects of domestic and international migration on employment and associated finances are potentially underestimated (Hatton and Tani,2005). The relative equilibrium between the influx of migrants and there locating outbound indigenous population may mask, at a local level, the economic and employment-related ramifications of migration, however, its significance to the economy of the entire country remains considerable. An equivalent analysis of the migratory patterns and their associated concerns in the United States by Borjas (2003) indicates that the displacement of an indigenous population is an essential apparatus to encourage the dispersal of the effects of migration, thereby restricting any negative impacts from affecting solitary locations. However, this assessment is contradicted in a similar study conducted by Card (2001). Within the United Kingdom, this issue has been analysed throughout two decades and reported by Hattonand Tani (2005), with a reliance on data accumulated from eleven regions via the National Health Service Register and the International Passenger Survey. Conclusively, Hatton and Tani suggest that the effects of immigration are diffused beyond the immediately affected region, with an associated flow of migrants between regions; the original settlement of inbound migrants and the subsequent displacement of prior inhabitants (Hatton and Tani, 2005). Unsurprisingly, these effects are not restricted to the tangible and readily visible issues surrounding accommodation, but also impact on regional and national economies, the religious and cultural structure of society, demographics relating to language, and employment. The consequence of migration on both the employment and housing markets involve significantly intensified competition, throughout the region and, eventually, throughout the country (Hatton and Tani, 2005). With a focus on London specifically, current data suggest that approximately forty-five inhabitants are routinely displaced by the inward migration of one hundred migrants, and, therefore, displacement is particularly concentrated in locations experiencing significant immigration.

However, data compiled and analysed by various authors, both academic and governmental, are intrinsically limited by the relevance of the sources used, particularly with regard to the lack of accurate data relating to illegal migration, and therefore many studies are ultimately considered to be statistically insignificant. This is an unfortunate restriction applicable to any study assessing demographics,with a substantial proportion of the potential target population in accessible and virtually invisible. It is, therefore, imperative to acknowledge these limitations and present any such population study as representative only of the visible, official public.

The quantity of households in London declined considerably during the1970s, however, this trend has since reversed and the inclination is predicted to increase exponentially. The Greater London Authority estimates that the increase in population, as a result of both natural life events and migration, will occur at a rate unprecedented sinceWorld War Two (Greater London Authority and the Mayor of London, 2001).The change in social profile of the United Kingdom in the latter half of the twentieth century, including the prevalence for divorce and single habitation, inevitably attributed to the increase in population, however, these were not the primary causes. Though natural patterns and growth contributes to a large proportion of the population increase in London, the recent surge in numbers of households in the capital is a direct result of inbound migration. This paper details the accumulation of data from a variety of reports conducted into the examination of the population of London. The majority of these studies demonstrate the significant correlation between migration patterns, accessibility of employment, formation of households, property prices and income levels.When assessing the inbound migration of residents, particularly within specific boroughs, it is virtually obligatory to also examine corresponding local labour markets and the resultant displacement of sections of the population.

The state of the housing market and its demand within London is specifically a matter of growth: growth of the population, particularly driven by inward migration, which directly drives the growth and development of households, which, in turn, results in the growth of the housing market and an increased necessity for new properties in the locality. As a result of this demand for available residential properties within London, many residents have cashed in on the remunerative housing market, and subsequently investments in housing have yielded considerable profits. The demand for accommodation located in the South East of England, and London specifically, as a result of both domestic and international migration, is currently surpassing the available supply. The cost of buying a property, for first-time buyers in particular, is far in excess of funds accessible to the majority of citizens; this is a substantial problem for duel-income couples of reasonably sufficient earnings, however, the difficulty is exacerbated for individuals on low incomes and from unprivileged backgrounds. In particular, the economical reality of buying properties is of concern to the skilled labour force, and is a problem aggravated by the inflationary affects of increased regional population through migration. Subsequently, a large proportion of the population, particularly in the relatively youthful populace of London, is reliant on the rental market for accommodation; a sector which has proven to be disproportionately expensive. Similarly, the homeless population is considered to be an increasing concern, particularly within city locations, and with an estimated 85,000 households allocated refuge in temporary accommodation in 2002; approximately 65% of these families included children, and the incommensurate statistical representation of ethnic minorities in these figures is significant (Office of the DeputyPrime Minister, 2003).

The projected dispersion of new households within the United Kingdom is asymmetrical, particularly throughout England (table 1) with the predominant concentration of 19.4% in the South East of the country, comparable to the corresponding estimation for the North East at 6.4%.

(Table 1) Office of National Statistics (2003b) Revised international migration estimates 1992-2001. London, Office of National Statistics

Calculating via the estimated prediction of 172,000 inbound migrants per annum, and appreciating the requirement for one million supplementary residential properties, the forecasted profusion of households and percentage increase in each region impacted by net migration indicates that London will experience an increase of four times that of the North East (table 2). These data suggest that London is significantly more attractive as a settlement location than any other location in England, and will, by extrapolation, incur the majority of the burden for accommodation, further impacting on the current rental market. However, the theoretical impingement of such an influx of migrants is incontrovertibly extensive, and, in practice, the probable response from London would involve the outward migration of the indigenous population to less densely populated regions of the United Kingdom. Such a movement of residents, however, would subsequently confer a significant economical, political and social influence on London.

(Table 2) Office of National Statistics (2003b) Revised international migration estimates 1992-2001. London, Office of National Statistics

(Table 3) Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (2003) Sustainable Communities: Building for the Future. London, ODPM

A more realistic consequence, however, involves the proportional distribution of population increase following inbound migration at an annual rate of 172,000 (table 3). Following these calculation, it is possible to suggest that the one million additional residential properties necessary to accommodate migrants would be dispersed throughout the country relative to the principal projections calculated by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, therefore implying that the quantities of new houses required would involve the construction of a further 25 per cent of dwellings throughout the South of England during the following two decades (Attanasio, et al., 2005). However, this region currently exhibits the highest house prices, the most densely populated residential areas and the least quantity of unoccupied dwellings. The government’s report analysing Sustainable Communities(Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, 2003) concludes that a vast quantities of actions are required to respond adequately to the projected requirement for accommodation in the twenty-first century,including a reform of the previously inefficient and ineffective planning system, and the development of the so-called ‘growth areas’located in the London/Stanstead/Cambridge corridor (LSC), the Thames Gateway, Ashford and Milton Keynes (Office of the Deputy PrimeMinister, 2003). By 2031, a possible 803,000 new dwellings are planned throughout the ‘growth area’, with the majority located in Milton Keynes and LSC regions (370,000 and 322,000 respectively). However, principal projections of households are dependent on the assumptionthat the inbound migration to the United Kingdom is restricted to an approximate figure of 65,000 per annum. If, therefore, net migrationis, in actuality, closer to the suspected figure of 172,000, the increase in required new dwellings for migrants alone will equate to a figure approximating 430,000 (Attanasio, et al., 2005).

The United Kingdom differs from the majority of European countries in that each individual city is responsible for providing their own population figures. Many other nations utilise commuter statistics to determine national urban population data, however, the United Kingdom’sreluctance to employ these statistics continually results in complication and perplexity with regard to the definition and presentation of accurate population statistics for London and its region. In addition, confusion exists over the physical parameters of‘London’, ‘Greater London’ and the metropolitan district, resulting in an abundance of erroneous statements and conclusions regarding the demographics of the capital. In 2001, the Greater London Authority recognised the significance of the developing patterns controlling the population of London and the inaccuracies surrounding demographic studies, and subsequently conducted an official analysis of migratory and housing trends. The panel concluded that household and property statistics were previously unsound, and established that London demographics were manipulated by a variety of disparate determinants, with particular significance attributed to domestic and international migratory trends, culturally determined differential household patterns, contrasting housing aspirations dependent on age bracket, and the disproportionately high prices and scant availability of property in the capital (Greater London Authority and the Mayor of London,2001).

From varying studies it is possible to determine that the increase in the rate of population growth is in excess of the current and predicted supply of accommodation. Microcosmic analysis between boroughs suggests that the differential migration of London, in comparison with the remainder of the United Kingdom, is also replicated at municipal levels.

The demographic profile of London indicates a remarkable diversity in ethnicity of the resident population. Approximately seventy-eight percent of the United Kingdom’s black African population resides in London, with representation of the black Caribbean populace currently standing at sixty-one per cent, and in excess of half of the British population of Bangladeshis reside in the capital (Dobson et al., 2001).When analysing the population of a capital city it is imperative to acknowledge the ethnic profile due to the associated impoverished state of both the residents themselves and their communities: a significant majority of London’s ethnic population experiences below average incomes, poorer standards of habitation and poorer health when compared with the general population of the United Kingdom (Philips and Philips,1998).

The Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, is considered to be affluent, progressive and prosperous, with a substantial population density in comparison to all other London boroughs. Kensington and Chelsea presents a total population of 158,919 citizens and a population density of people per hectare of 131.01 (Merriman, 2003).Contrastingly, Lambeth is a borough afflicted by generic poverty, low income households and social deprivation, however, its population density is considerably less than that of Kensington and Chelsea, currently at 99.42 people per hectare. Despite the relatively meager distribution of people, however, the population of Lambeth is considerable, at approximately 270,500 registered citizens (Thrift,1994), and results in Lambeth being the largest inner London borough.Though stricken with relatively significant levels of poverty, Lambeth enjoys one of the most culturally and socially diverse communities within the United Kingdom (Rex and Montserrat Guibernau i Berdun,1997). Ethnic minorities are well-represented within the Borough, with current data indicating that twenty-five percent of the Lambeth population consider themselves as black and four percent declaring their ethnicity as from the Indian Subcontinent; approximately thirty-four per cent of the residential population in Lambeth are from ethnic minorities (Philips and Philips, 1998). The borough boasts the largest proportion of black Caribbean citizens in comparison with all other districts, and possesses the third largest representation of black Africans in London (Office for National Statistics, 2005b).According to the 2001 Census, 62% of Lambeth’s population considers themselves white, with black Caribbean and black African residents equally represented at approximately 12% of the population of the borough. Though not considered particularly densely populated in comparison with other inner London boroughs, with regard to residency, only thirty-seven per cent of the district’s population consider themselves owner-occupiers. Despite the considerable ethnic medley represented in the borough, Lambeth has, in recent years, been accused of over-enthusiastically resorting to pol


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