Culture Wikia
This article is about the capital city of England and the United Kingdom. For other uses, see London (disambiguation).

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Capital city
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Coordinates: 51°30′26″N 0°7′39″W / 51.50722°N 0.12750°W / 51.50722; -0.12750Coordinates: 51°30′26″N 0°7′39″W / 51.50722°N 0.12750°W / 51.50722; -0.12750
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Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
RegionLondon (Greater London)
Ceremonial countiesGreater London (ceremonial county)
City of London
Local government districts32 London boroughs
and the City of London
Settled by RomansAD 47; 1977 years ago (47)[1]
as Londinium
 • TypeExecutive mayoralty and deliberative assembly within unitary constitutional monarchy
 • BodyGreater London Authority
Mayor Sadiq Khan (L)
London Assembly
 • London Assembly14 constituencies
 • UK Parliament73 constituencies
 • Total[upper-alpha 1]Formatting error: invalid input when rounding sq mi (1,572.03 km2)
 • Urban
Formatting error: invalid input when rounding sq mi (1,737.9 km2)
 • Metro
Formatting error: invalid input when rounding sq mi (8,382 km2)
 • City of LondonFormatting error: invalid input when rounding sq mi (2.89 km2)
 • 32 London boroughs (total)Formatting error: invalid input when rounding sq mi (1,569.14 km2)
ElevationFormatting error: invalid input when rounding ft (11 m)
 (2021 except where stated)
 • Total[upper-alpha 1]8,799,800[3]
 • DensityFormatting error: invalid input when rounding/sq mi (5,598/km2)
 • Urban
 • Metro
14,800,000 (London metropolitan area)
 • City of London
GVA (2021)
 • Total£487 billion
 • Per capita£55,412
Time zoneUTC (Greenwich Mean Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
Postcode areas
22 areas
  • E, EC, N, NW, SE, SW, W, WC, BR, CM, CR, DA, EN, HA, IG, KT, RM, SM,UB, WD, TN, TW
Budget£19.376 billion
($Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". billion)[8]
International airportsInside London:
Heathrow (LHR)
City (LCY)
Outside London:
Gatwick (LGW)
Stansted (STN)
Luton (LTN)
Southend (SEN)
Rapid transit systemLondon Underground
PoliceMetropolitan (county of Greater London)
City of London (City of London square mile)
Website{{URL||optional display text}}

London (English pronunciation: Template:Pronunciation) is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom, with a population of just under 9 million.[3][note 1] It stands on the River Thames in south-east England at the head of a 50-mile (80 km) estuary down to the North Sea and has been a major settlement for two millennia.[9] The City of London, its ancient core and financial centre, was founded by the Romans as Londinium and retains its mediaeval boundaries.[note 2][10] The City of Westminster, to the west of the City of London, has for centuries hosted the national government and parliament. Since the 19th century,[11] the name "London" also refers to the metropolis around this core, historically split among the counties of Middlesex, Essex, Surrey, Kent, and Hertfordshire,[12] which since 1965 has largely comprised Greater London,[13] which is governed by 33 local authorities and the Greater London Authority.[note 3][14]

As one of the world's major global cities,[15] London exerts a strong influence on its arts, entertainment, fashion, commerce and finance, education, health care, media, science and technology, tourism, transport, and communications.[16][17] Its GDP (€801.66 billion in 2017) makes it the largest urban economy in Europe,[18] and it is one of the major financial centres in the world. With Europe's largest concentration of higher education institutions,[19] it is home to some of the highest-ranked academic institutions in the world—Imperial College London in natural and applied sciences, the London School of Economics in social sciences, and the comprehensive University College London.[20][21] London is the most visited city in Europe and has the busiest city airport system in the world.[22] The London Underground is the oldest rapid transit system in the world.[23]

London's diverse cultures encompass over 300 languages.[24] The mid-2018 population of Greater London of about 9 million[25] made it Europe's third-most populous city,[26] accounting for 13.4% of the population of the United Kingdom[27] and over 16% of the population of England. The Greater London Built-up Area is the fourth-most populous in Europe, with about 9.8 million inhabitants at the 2011 census.[28][29] The London metropolitan area is the third-most populous in Europe, with about 14 million inhabitants in 2016,[note 4][30][31] granting London the status of a megacity.

London has four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London; Kew Gardens; the combined Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey, and St Margaret's Church; and also the historic settlement in Greenwich, where the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, defines the prime meridian (0° longitude) and Greenwich Mean Time.[32] Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, and Trafalgar Square. London has many museums, galleries, libraries, and cultural venues, including the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library, and numerous West End theatres.[33] Important sporting events held in London include the FA Cup Final, the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, and the London Marathon. In 2012, London became the first city to host three Summer Olympic Games.[34]

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Main article: Etymology of London

London is an ancient name, attested in the first century AD, usually in the Latinised form Londinium.[35] Modern scientific analyses of the name must account for the origins of the different forms found in early sources: Latin (usually Londinium), Old English (usually Lunden), and Welsh (usually Llundein), with reference to the known developments over time of sounds in those different languages. It is agreed that the name came into these languages from Common Brythonic; recent work tends to reconstruct the lost Celtic form of the name as *Londonjon or something similar. This was adapted into Latin as Londinium and borrowed into Old English.[36]

Until 1889, the name "London" applied officially only to the City of London, but since then it has also referred to the County of London and to Greater London.[37]

Notable people[]

See also[]

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  • Outline of England
  • Outline of London


  1. London region (Greater London administrative area)
  1. London is not a city in the usual UK sense of having city status granted by the Crown.
  2. See also: Independent city § National capitals
  3. The Greater London Authority consists of the Mayor of London and the London Assembly. The London Mayor is distinguished from the Lord Mayor of London, who heads the City of London Corporation running the City of London.
  4. According to the European Statistical Agency (Eurostat), London had the largest Larger Urban Zone in the EU. Eurostat uses the sum of the populations of the contiguous urban core and the surrounding commuting zone as its definition.


  1. Number 1 Poultry (ONE 94), Museum of London Archaeology, 2013. Archaeology Data Service, The University of York.
  2. "London weather map". The Met Office. Archived from the original on 3 August 2018. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Population and household estimates, England and Wales: Census 2021". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 15 October 2022.
  4. "2011 Census – Built-up areas". ONS. Retrieved 15 October 2022.
  5. "Major agglomerations of the world". Retrieved 20 April 2023.
  6. Fenton, Trevor. "Regional economic activity by gross domestic product, UK: 1998 to 2021".
  7. Sub-national HDI. "Area Database – Global Data Lab".
  8. "The Greater London Authority Consolidated Budget and Component Budgets for 2021–22" (PDF).
  9. "Roman London". Museum of London. n.d. Archived from the original on 22 March 2008.
  10. Fowler, Joshua (5 July 2013). "London Government Act: Essex, Kent, Surrey and Middlesex 50 years on". BBC News.
  11. Mills, AD (2010). Dictionary of London Place Names. Oxford University Press. p. 152. Of course until relatively recent times the name London referred only to the City of London with even Westminster remaining a separate entity. But when the County of London was created in 1888, the name often came to be rather loosely used for this much larger area, which was also sometimes referred to as Greater London from about this date. However, in 1965 Greater London was newly defined as a much enlarged area.
  12. "The baffling map of England's counties". BBC News. 25 April 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2021.
  13. "London Government Act 1963". Retrieved 26 September 2021.
  14. Jones, Bill; Kavanagh, Dennis; Moran, Michael; Norton, Philip (2007). Politics UK. Harlow: Pearson Education. p. 868. ISBN 978-1-4058-2411-8.
  15. "Global Power City Index 2020". Institute for Urban Strategies – The Mori Memorial Foundation. Retrieved 25 March 2021.; Adewunmi, Bim (10 March 2013). "London: The Everything Capital of the World". The Guardian. London.; "What's The Capital of the World?". More Intelligent Life. Archived from the original on 22 September 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  16. "Leading 200 science cities". Nature. Retrieved 10 June 2022.
  17. "The World's Most Influential Cities 2014". Forbes. 14 August 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2021.; Dearden, Lizzie (8 October 2014). "London is 'the most desirable city in the world to work in', study finds". The Independent. London. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
  18. "Leading European cities by gross domestic product in 2017/18". Statista. Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  19. "Number of international students in London continues to grow" (Press release). Greater London Authority. 20 August 2008. Archived from the original on 24 November 2010.
  20. "Times Higher Education World University Rankings". 19 September 2018.; "Top Universities: Imperial College London".; "Top Universities: LSE". Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  21. "QS World University Rankings 2022". Top Universities. Retrieved 19 September 2022.
  22. "Why London Is The World's Busiest City For Air Travel". Simple Flying. 16 August 2021. Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  23. "London Underground". Transport for London. Retrieved 6 May 2022.
  24. "Languages spoken in the UK population". National Centre for Language. 16 June 2008. Archived from the original on 24 September 2008."CILT, the National Centre for Languages". Archived from the original on 13 February 2005. Retrieved 16 August 2007.
  25. "Estimates of the population for the UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland". ONS. 28 September 2018. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  26. "Largest EU City. Over 7 million residents in 2001". Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 8 January 2009. Retrieved 28 June 2008.
  27. "Focus on London – Population and Migration | London DataStore". Greater London Authority. Archived from the original on 16 October 2010. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
  28. "Demographia World Urban Areas, 15th Annual Edition" (PDF). Demographia. April 2019. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 February 2020. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  29. "2011 Census – Built-up areas". ONS. 28 June 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  30. "Metropolitan Area Populations". Eurostat. 18 June 2019. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  31. "The London Plan (March 2015)". Greater London Authority. 15 October 2015. Archived from the original on 22 December 2016. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  32. "Lists: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland – Properties inscribed on the World Heritage List". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 26 November 2008.
  33. Blackman, Bob (25 January 2008). "West End Must Innovate to Renovate, Says Report". What's on Stage. London. Archived from the original on 30 April 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2010.
  34. "IOC elects London as the Host City of the Games of the XXX Olympiad in 2012" (Press release). International Olympic Committee. 6 July 2005. Archived from the original on 17 October 2011. Retrieved 3 June 2006.
  35. Mills, Anthony David (2001). A Dictionary of London Place Names. Oxford University Press. p. 139. ISBN 9780192801067. OCLC 45406491.
  36. Bynon, Theodora (2016). "London's Name". Transactions of the Philological Society. 114 (3): 281–97. doi:10.1111/1467-968X.12064.
  37. Mills, David (2001). A Dictionary of London Place Names. Oxford University Press. p. 140. ISBN 9780192801067. OCLC 45406491.


  • Ackroyd, Peter (2001). London: The Biography. London: Vintage. p. 880. ISBN 978-0-09-942258-7.

External links[]

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Template:London history Template:London landmarks Template:Areas of London

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