Lewisham's population rises 8% in a decade

Agent Smith: You hear that Mr. Anderson?... That is the sound of inevitability...
- The Matrix

The 2011 census results were released this week, with Lewisham recording an 8% population rise in a decade, taking the borough's head count from 254,300 to 275,900.

This growth was comparatively modest: boroughs like Tower Hamlets (26.4%), Newham (23.5%), Hackney (18.9%) and Greenwich (17.1%) grew at a much faster rate, obviously helped by major regeneration sites, like Greenwich Peninsula and the Isle of Dogs. On average, the capital grew by 12%. Kensington and Chelsea's population shrank, due to the number of homes that are owned by investors.

These figures contradict the arguments (sometimes made by commenters on these pages) that we don't need to build so many new homes in the borough or that Lewisham is building more than its fair share of new homes. The population is growing fast, but below average for the capital.

The good news is that London's growing density is breathing new life into once-desolate areas and creating the demand that will rejuvenate our high streets. Meanwhile, we all somehow manage to get along, with falling crime rates across the board.


Anonymous said...

It does not support the idea that Lewisham needs to build more homes. Quite the opposite. if Lewisham built fewer new homes, the population of Lewisham would have risen less. The unsustainable population growth shows that Lewisham should build fewer homes still.

Brockley Nick said...

So... Lewisham should just let all the other boroughs take the strain? That's not how the city works. Nor should it.

What's 'unsustainable' about it, btw?

Anonymous said...

Surely it depends on the mix of population ?

Re the rise in population and its affect doesn't size matter?

For example Islington is said to be the most densely populated local authority with a population 70,000 less than Lewisham.

Tower Hamlets & Hackney may have seen rises of over 20% compared to 8% in Lewisham but those boroughs 10 years ago most likely had less than 200,000 residents compared to Lewisham's 250,000.

Even today Tower Hamlets & Hackney have fewer residents than Lewisham.

Physics for dummies said...

What? Yes, more densely populated but with fewer people because islington is smaller. Quantity/area or volume, kind of what density is.

Brockley Nick said...

Anon 0649, sorry I don't understand what point you are making?

Tower Hamlets has a smaller population, but is a much smaller borough. Its density is nearly twice ours. Likewise Hackney.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many cars this population needs to use the supermarket/car park infrastructure that we are saddled with.

Welcome to 2012 said...

Are you thinking of the big supermarket next to Lewisham Station or the big supermarket next to New Cross Gate station? Or all the shops around Catford Bridge?

Why do you think Lewisham is specially car-dependent?

Anonymous said...

There seems to be an assumption the density of population in a borough is evenly spaced...whic it isn't.

For example some new builds in the north of the borough are more densely packed than the guidelines.

Having recently met with some councillors I suspect the council has been eyeing up areas like Brockley which are less populated for future development.

Anonymous said...

Sack A contains 100 apples, Sack B has 1000 apples.

The apples need to be stored in coloured boxes, red for apples from sack A and blue for sack B's aplles...each box can hold 10 apples.

50% of Sack A's apples are boxed.

Only 10% of sack B's apples are boxed.

Assuming the packer is not coloured blind how money boxes of each colour are required?

Danja said...

Was an iSAT question?

Danja said...


Anonymous said...

@Brockley Nick

So... Lewisham should just let all the other boroughs take the strain? That's not how the city works. Nor should it.

Maybe London as a whole should not take the strain. Maybe we should add extra boroughs and expand the size of London. There are other solutions which do not involve simply crowding more and more people into a space. That's not how a city should work. Nor should it.

What's 'unsustainable' about it, btw?

Almost everything. Cram too many people into too small a space and see what happens. The only argument is only what constitutes "too small" not what happens.

Face palm said...

Anon, you've not explained how you're going to prevent people from moving into or around London? Is your methodology to not build houses, schools, roads, railways so making it unbearably shit? The fact is the population is growing, how do we deal with it?

Anonymous said...

Re growing population back in the 50/60's the population of London declined...I'm sure someone from Goldmiths can explain how that was achieved.

Tamsin said...

I suspect the Luftwaffe helped.

Also worth checking out how the stats. define "London". Were the people displaced to the outer suburgs - think the prefab estate in Downham and all that fifties housing - Londoners or not?

TM said...

I'm looking forward to my retirement so I can move out of London....

Pehaps with an ageing population I won't be the only one.

Factoid said...

>Cram too many people into too small a space and see what happens

Population density does not correlate with "nice place to live". Population density of LBL = 7600 / sq km, population density of Monaco = 15,000 / sq km.

Little Ron said...

"Cram too many people into too small a space and see what happens. The only argument is only what constitutes "too small" not what happens."

Depends on the people. Some make good neighbours, others don't.

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