In 1992, the population of the City of London, the central downtown part of the city, was estimated at 3,900. The surrounding area of Inner London, consisting of the City of London and 13 boroughs of Greater London, had an estimated population of 2,632,100. Altogether, the population of the 33 boroughs of the Greater London metropolitan area was estimated at 6,904,600.

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, London's immigrant communities were mostly small and self-contained, giving it a less cosmopolitan flavor than other comparable cities. Nineteenth-century immigrant groups included Italians, French, Chinese, Germans, Scandinavians, Irish, and, in the last decades of the century, Polish and Russian Jews. (More Jewish immigrants from both Eastern and Western Europe followed in the years before and after World War II.)

City Fact Comparison
Indicator London Cairo Rome Beijing
(England) (Egypt) (Italy) (China)
Population of urban area1 7,640,000 10,772,000 2,688,000 12,033,000
Date the city was founded 1st centuary AD AD 969 753 BC 723 BC
Daily costs to visit the city2
Hotel (single occupancy) $219 $193 $172 $129
Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) $79 $56 $59 $62
Incidentals (laundry, dry cleaning, etc.) $20 $14 $15 $16
Total daily costs $318 $173 $246 $207
Major Newspapers3
Number of newspapers serving the city 21 13 20 11
Largest newspaper News of the World Akhbar El Yom/Al Akhbar La Repubblica Renmin Ribao
Circulation of largest newspaper 4,316,825 1,159,339 754,930 3,000,000
Date largest newspaper was established 1843 1944 1976 1948
1United Nations population estimates for the year 2000.
2The maximum amount the U.S. Government reimburses its employees for business travel. The lodging portion of the allowance is based on the cost for a single room at a moderately-priced hotel. The meal portion is based on the costs of an average breakfast, lunch, and dinner including taxes, service charges, and customary tips. Incidental travel expenses include such things as laundry and dry cleaning.
3David Maddux, ed. Editor&Publisher International Year Book. New York: The Editor&Publisher Company, 1999.

Since the influx of immigrants from Britain's former colonies that began in the 1950s, London's population has steadily grown even more diverse. The new immigrants include West Indians, East Indians, Bangladeshis, and people from a variety of African nations. When the 1991 census was taken, one child of every three born in London was born to an immigrant mother. In 2000, nearly one-quarter of the city's population was born overseas. However, much of the ethnic diversity of Greater London is concentrated in its western boroughs while those to the east are home primarily to British-born whites.