Nicknames for London include: “Swinging City” reflecting its role in the 1960s musical and cultural revolution; “Where Royalty Lives” due to Buckingham Palace housing the Royal Family; “Big Smoke” dating back to the Industrial Revolution starting in 1874, or simply “London Town” as celebrated in various songs.
London places first among global cities demonstrating the strongest economic clout in PwC’s Cities of Opportunity Index.
London’s economic might is supported by the fact that 28 of Fortune Global 500 companies have their headquarters located in the British capital. Those global behemoths include petroleum refiner BP, financial services giant HSBC Holdings and mining behemoth Rio Tinto Group.
Over 80 billionaires reside in the UK’s capital, making London the city which is home for the greatest number of billionaires in the world.
London is also an important historical and cultural center, boasting 170 museums such as the British Museum, the Imperial War Museum, the National Gallery and the Wallace Collection. Cultural diversity is another feather in London’s cap, given the over 300 languages collectively spoken by Londoners.
One remarkable anomaly is that London is not formally considered a city since the governing Crown has yet to grant London its city status.
From an international trade perspective, the United Kingdom placed 11th among the biggest exporting nations, shipping US$468.2 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2019. The most valuable exports from the UK are cars (8.2% of its global total), turbo-jets (5.6%), crude oil (5.1%), gold (5%), drugs and medicines (3.8%), aircraft or spacecraft parts (3.4%), refined petroleum oils (2.5%), paintings, pastels and drawings (1.9%), liquor (1.7%) and human or animal blood (1.6%) according to the International Trade Centre.
Capital Facts for London, UK: Quick Reference
Capital landmarks: Tower of London (with its Crown Jewels), Big Ben and Westminster Abbey
Below, you will find 10 of the most famous people born in London, England.
- Adele, singer-songwriter (born May 5, 1988)
- Hugh Grant, actor (born Sep. 9, 1960)
- David Bowie, singer-songwriter & actor (born Jan.8, 1947)
- Elizabeth Taylor, actress (born Feb. 27, 1932)
- Cat Stevens, singer-songwriter (born Jul. 21, 1948 )
- Emily Blunt, actress (born Feb.23, 1983 )
- Kiefer Sutherland, actor, director & producer (born Dec. 21, 1966 )
- Sharon Osbourne, host & media personality (born Oct. 9, 1952 )
- Cressida Cowell, writer (born Apr. 15, 1966)
- Lord Snowden, royalty (born Mar. 7, 1930)
Note: Data for our Famous People tab was sourced from Google searches of published Wikipedia articles specific to each person’s name.
Demonym for a resident of London: Londoner
Population: 9,304,000 (Greater London) at July 5, 2020
Density: 15,328 people per square mile (5,919 per square kilometer)
Population: 67,900,000 (United Kingdom) at July 5, 2020
Density: 727 people per square mile (281 per square kilometer)
Median age for all Britain: 40.5 years old
GDP: US$3.131 trillion in 2019 (United Kingdom)
GDP per person: $46,827
Note: The above GDP metrics are on a Purchasing Power Parity basis and are in U.S. dollars.
Official currency used in London: pound sterling (£)
Brookings Institution, Global Metro Monitor Report (includes GDP data).
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Europe: United Kingdom.
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Field Listing: Major Urban Areas.
CityMetric, Where are largest cities in the world? 2015 edition.
Demographia, World Urban Area, 12th Annual Edition.
Fortune, Global 500.
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Databases.
International Trade Centre, Trade Map.
Official Government Website, Mayor of London.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), 2016 Cities of Opportunity Report.
Wikimedia Commons, City Flags.
Note: Some city flags were unavailable. If so, attribution belongs to Wikimedia Commons for pertinent country flags.
Wikipedia, City of London.
Wikipedia, Greater London.
Wikipedia, London commuter belt.
Wikipedia, United Kingdom.
WorldOMeter, United Kingdom Population.
Britain’s national holiday is St George’s Day paying tribute to Scotland’s patron saint. Annually, St George’s Day occurs on April 23.
Greater London refers to a land mass measuring 607 square miles (1,572 square kilometers) that held 9.3 million residents at July 2020.
At the national level, the United Kingdom has a land area equal to 93,410 square miles (241,930 square kilometers). The UK’s population was 67.9 million inhabitants as of July 2020.
Density for the Greater London area is concentrated, with a population density of 15,328 people per square mile (5,919 per square kilometer).
Zooming out to the United Kingdom’s overall land boundaries, Britain’s national population density dilutes to an average 727 residents per square mile (281 per square kilometer).