London is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom. It’s situated in southeastern of England. London is among the oldest of the world’s great cities and one of the most cosmopolitan. It is the country’s economic, transportation, and cultural centre. Since the Middle Ages, London is renowned for influencing other cities around the world. It is famous for its astounding medieval buildings and modern structures that stand side by side to complement each other. Some of the places that is makes it famous include the amazing ancient buildings, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, Art Galleries, Palace of Westminster, London Eye and the Tower of London.
Data and facts
- Census in the United Kingdom is done after every 10 years and 2011 was the last time that it was conducted. The next census is scheduled for 2021 in England and Wales.
- According to the 2011 census, London had a population of 8,173,941. Compared to other cities in the United Kingdom, London is considered to be more diverse.
- According to the 2011 census, 69.7% of the population is white based in London while across England and wale amounted to 86%. This is due to many people moving away from the city center.
- When it comes to religious beliefs, London is known to be diverse as most people identify themselves as Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist.
- According to the data collected during the 2011 census, 48.4% people in London identified themselves as Christian, 12.39% as Muslim, 5% Hindu, 1.82% Jewish, , 1% Buddhist and 0.6% Other religions. On the other hand, 20.73% of respondents declared that they followed no religion.
- As one of the most diverse cities in the world, London houses over 8 million residents, who collectively speak over 300 languages, including Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien and of course English.
- The Tower of London houses six ravens. Charles II’s ordered for six ravens to be placed in the Tower of London to protect it. Apparently, six ravens are still kept in the tower today and they must remain there at all times due to superstitious reasons.
- London has an official smallest statue. Located on Philpot Lane, the statue of two tiny mice eating cheese is dedicated to two builders who fell during construction of The Monument after an argument over a missing sandwich, that they blamed on each other but was actually the fault of a mice infestation.
There are two tiers under local government in London. They are citywide and local tier. Citywide administration is coordinated by the Greater London Authority (GLA), while local administration is carried out by 33 smaller authorities. The Greater London Authority (GLA) consists of two elected parts. They are the Mayor of London, who has executive powers, and the London Assembly, who scrutinize the Mayor's decisions and can accept or reject his budget proposals each year. The GLA is responsible for strategic planning, policing, the fire service, most aspects of transport and economic development. On the other hand, the 33 local authorities are the 32 London borough councils and the City of London Corporation. They are responsible for local services not overseen by the GLA, such as local planning, schools, social services, local roads and refuse collection. The London boroughs each have a council made up from representatives from political parties and single issue organizations elected every four years by local residents.
London has always been a commercial city and today enjoys the status of having one of the largest city economies in the world. The city thrives in trade and commerce and has a vibrant culture seeped in commerce. It has a GDP of over £565 billion, which is about 17 percent of the UK's total GDP. The size of its economy is larger than that of several European nations. The Port of London handles 48 million tons of cargo every year.
London is the home to many banks and financial institutions and has the maximum number of foreign banks in any city. The city is also a major centre for forex trade. London trades more US dollars than New York does, and more Euros than all other cities in Europe combined. The service sector employs 3.2 million people in London, which is about 85 percent of all jobs available in London's service industries. Out of this, the financial sector alone employs about 1.25 million people, or about one in every three jobs available. The manufacturing and construction industry, in contrast, employ half a million residents of Greater London, which is about 11 percent of the employable population of Greater London. London is today the centre of operations for almost two out of every three Fortune 500 companies and the European hub for one out of every three large global conglomerates. Several well-known businesses such as HSBC, Barclays Bank, Virgin, BBC and many others have their headquarters at London. The London Stock Exchange is the largest in the world, and accounts for about 32 percent of all global transactions.
The GLA took positive steps with its draft London infrastructure plan 2050. The Mayor of London took a big step forward in planning for growth with the publication of the GLA’s London Infrastructure Plan 2050. It identifies a range of infrastructure priorities for London, from new energy, water and sewerage infrastructure, to enhanced digital connectivity and new Tube, rail and road schemes. Some of the investment is provided by the private sector, through the privatized utilities. This has generally worked well in London, although business is particularly concerned at the lack of capacity in digital infrastructure. The take-up of high speed broadband by business is low compared to other world cities; and just over 10% of premises cannot access superfast broadband in the first place, with these “not spots” particularly prevalent in the City of London and Tech City. Business sees these as priority areas for action by the Mayor.
London is one of the most technologically advanced cities in the world. It has a huge number of financial transactions that take place electronically each day through it financial services industry. Because London relies on its financial sector so much, it has invested heavily in its communications infrastructure, and continues to do so, under the auspices of its private IT sector and other partners, such as the Greater London Authority and the Corporation of the City of London. However, the technology industry that is part of London's economy is not simply there to support the financial services sector. It is a big player in its own right.
Social Wellness and Human Resources
Education is mandatory from ages 5 to 16. Students may then continue their secondary studies for two years (sixth form), with most students taking A-level qualifications. The 2 systems are the States schools and the independent schools (or Public schools). The State schools get State funds and are regulated by a Local Education Authority. Most of the State schools are Comprehensive, Foundation or Grammar schools and Free Schools (set-up by local parents and run by organizations, like Foundation schools).
The education system is divided into:
- Nursery (ages 0–3) and Pre-school Nursery (ages 3–4)
- Primary education (ages 4–11)
- Secondary education (ages 11–18)
- Tertiary education (ages 18+)
Healthcare in London, which consumes about a fifth of the NHS budget in England, is in many respects distinct from that in the rest of the United Kingdom, or England. In December 2013, the Mayor of London launched an independent London Health Commission (LHC) to examine how health and healthcare could be improved for the benefit of Londoners. This began a year-long journey to not only develop recommendations but also to start a different conversation with Londoners and organizations that influence health in London.
London is one of the largest media industries in the whole of Europe. Around a fifth of all the people who work in London are involved in the media industry in one way or another, and this vibrant industry continues to go from strength to strength each and every year. The BBC is the world's largest broadcaster and has its headquarters in London, while other major networks that are also based in London include CNN International, ITV, BskyB, Channel 4 and Five. Most of the television studios in the United Kingdom are now located in the city of London, while other television studios are predicted to make the move to England's capital in the next few years.
London's media industry also includes a whole host of radio stations and newspapers. There are two main daily newspapers that are circulated free of charge exclusively in London, namely the Metro and the Evening Standard.
London has diverse array of athletics stretching from football to tennis have further granted its city the spotlight throughout the world. London has hosted the Olympic Games in 1908, 1948, and most recently in 2012, making it the most frequently chosen city in modern Olympic history. Other popular sports in London include cricket, rowing, rugby, basketball, and most recently American Football.
London is the most popular tourist destination in the whole world, attracting around 30 million visitors from other countries each and every year. People travel here from every corner of the globe to admire London's many impressive monuments, explore the richly vibrant culture of the city and perhaps take in a theatrical performance in the West End. In addition, a total of roughly 26 million overnight visits are made to London each year, and these overnight visits are mostly made by people living in other parts of the United Kingdom.