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London's population to drop for first time in 30 years amid COVID-19, Brexit double whammy

With the economic fallout from COVID-19 pandemic and rise in unemployment, London's population could drop to as low as 8.7 million from about 9 million in 2020.

January 08, 2021 / 01:01 PM IST

London’s population is set to fall for the first time in the last 30 years. Accountancy firm PwC has said the number of people living in London could fall by more than three lakh this year.

With the economic fallout from COVID-19 pandemic and rise in unemployment, the population could drop to as low as 8.7 million from about 9 million in 2020, the report said, adding that this would be the first annual drop since 1988.

One of the major drivers causing the population drop is the coronavirus pandemic and resultant lockdown. The shut down prompted residents to rethink their living situation and a boom in work from home resulted in migration outside the city, the report said.

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Other drivers include a smaller number of graduates moving to London, fewer job opportunities in the capital and lower international migration to the city as a result of the pandemic and Brexit.

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Additionally, net EU migration to the UK has fallen since the 2016 Brexit vote and could turn negative in 2021. Meaning more people may leave the UK for the EU than arrive from it, according to PwC forecasts.

The accountancy firm also said the UK could record a "baby bust" in 2021, with the annual birth rate dipping to the lowest level since records began more than a century ago.

While it will take time before official population figures are published, PwC report said that there were early signs that London was on track to shrink for the first time this century.

PwC cited an August 2020 survey by the London Assembly wherein 4.5 percent of those living in London (416,000 people) said they would definitely move out of the city within the next 12 months.

The UK is recording virus-related deaths on a par with some of the worst days of the pandemic. The UK's total virus-related death toll is now 78,508.

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Moneycontrol News
first published: Jan 8, 2021 01:01 pm

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