London’s demographics have changed since the last mayoral election

Filed in: 2011 Census, General News, Geodemographic Classification, Popular Posts

February 11, 2016

In May many Londoners will go to the polls to elect a new mayor. Using P2 People & Places we’re going to explore how geodemographics can be used to understand the different types of people that live in London and how London’s demographics have changed since the last election. This may give us an indication of who is likely to be the next mayor.

Geodemographics is the analysis of people by where they live. P2 People & Places is a comprehensive geodemographic classification that uses Census and lifestyle data to classify every output area and postcode in the UK. P2 has two levels of detail: Trees which provide broad descriptions, and Branches which present opportunity for detailed segmentation. Read more about how we built P2 People & Places.

Is Sadiq and Zac London the same as that of Ken and Boris?

Boris won the last two elections (2008 and 2012) pursuing a doughnut strategy as he recognised that his support was strongest in the outer boroughs. Now it’s 2016 much has changed. Instead of Ken Livingstone for Labour and Boris Johnson for the Conservatives the two candidates who are most likely to get the greatest support are Sadiq Khan for Labour and Zac Goldsmith for the Conservatives. We have updated P2 People & Places, using the latest Census data, and thought we would explore the demographic change in London’s population and what the likely electoral consequences are.

You can explore in more detail how P2 People & Places has captured demographic change of the UK population between Census 2001 and Census 2011.

Here is a colour coded map using the old P2 People & Places Trees in London with the wards that voted Labour overlaid:

Map displaying demographic of London's population using old pre 2012 demographic data

The population of London is not at all typical of the rest of the UK. We clustered it separately from the rest of England and Wales initially and then combined it with the rest of England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland clusterings before producing the Branches and Trees.

Two Trees are over-represented compared to the national average:

As Trees E and I make up two thirds of the population of London the other twelve Trees are under-represented. Some of them are found mainly in outer suburban areas such as C and G. Although there are areas of deprivation in London, it is more prosperous than the national average and the four most deprived Trees – J, K, L and M are under-represented.

We have overlaid the wards where first preference votes for Labour were greater than Conservative in red. Comparing these areas to London as a whole, Tree I makes up 1.6 times as much of the population as you would expect by chance. Trees J and K are also over-represented. All the other Trees are under-represented. In the case of tree A – Mature Oaks there are only 8% of the adults you would expect by chance in the Labour voting areas.

What demographic changes does the new P2 People & Places show?

Here is the map of London with the new P2 People & Places data:

Map displaying demographic of London's population using latest demographic data

We find three different Trees are over-represented:

  • Tree D – Qualified Metropolitans makes up 33% of London’s population, this is 7.61 times the national average of 4.4%. Tree D is shown by the mid-blue dots on the map above.
  • Tree E – Professional Families make up 21% of London’s population, this is 2.74 times the national average of 7.5%.Tree E is shown by the light blue dots on the map above.
  • Tree K – Multicultural Centres makes up 29% of the population of London, this is 4.77 times the national average of 6.1%. Tree K is shown as light orange dots.

As Trees D, E and K make up more than four fifths of the population the other thirteen Trees are under-represented. Some of them are found mainly in outer suburban areas such as A and H. Although there are areas of deprivation in London, it is more prosperous than the national average and the four most deprived Trees – L, M, N and O are under-represented.

Looking again at the areas hatched in red, where first preference votes for Labour were greater than Conservative, Tree D makes up 1.22 times as much of the population as you would expect by chance. Tree K is most over-represented with 1.58 times as much of the population as you would expect by chance. All the other Trees are under-represented, with Tree C – Middle England only having 1.5% of its London population in Labour areas. The figure for Tree H – Married Manufacturers is even lower at less than 0.5%.

The new Tree K has many similarities to the old Tree I and we have also used the same name – Multicultural Centres, but the new Tree K is further out than the old Tree I. Overall there has been an increase in prosperity in the middle of London. This could be because the Overground has improved transport links in the centre, with the new line through Hoxton being described as the Hipster Rollercoaster. Peckham, which was chosen as the fictional home of the Trotters, is also on the Overground and also rapidly gentrifying.

It isn’t just politicians that can benefit from using geodemographics to target specific types of people. P2 People & Places is a cost-effective geodemographics classification used by a wide range of businesses and organisations to understand the lifestyles, behaviours and attitudes of the UK population and target them effectively with products and services.

Visit P2 People & Places to find out more about how demographics can help your organisation understand people and the places they live, save money and receive a better ROI from your marketing efforts.




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