8 maps and charts that explain London's place among the world's biggest cities

Louis Dor
Wednesday 04 May 2016 13:00
Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

On Thursday, Londoners go to the polls to elect a mayor from a field of candidates who have touted the city's credentials to compete on a global platform and grow.

So how does London compare to the world's biggest cities and does it have room to expand in population?

Analysis by the London School of Economics' LSE Cities centre has produced some handy visualisations evaluating London's demographics as part of their Urban Age research.

1. Population density

The population density, compared to other cities is actually pretty low, running at 17,324 people at its peak square kilometre...

Picture: Urban Age, LSE Cities

...compared to 121,312 in Mumbai - that's six times as many people in the densest kilometre.

But what the graphic shows is that the population of London is relatively spread out, rather than densely packed housing in the centre of the city - like Manhattan for example.

Picture: Urban Age, LSE Cities

Apparently we're ok with a brief commute.

2. Life expectancy

The age spread of London shows that, like New York, the country's largest city is younger than its rural areas.

Picture: Urban Age, LSE Cities

However, compared to cities like Mumbai and Mexico City, London has a more middle-aged spread.

Picture: Urban Age, LSE Cities

3. Transport

London's spread population is mirrored by its transport system, which is old and extensive, compared to other large cities.

Picture: Urban Age, LSE Cities

Because of this London has high levels of accessibility, enabling people to live further out and accommodate a growing city population.

London's network extends 402 kilometres, compared to Hong Kong's 250, or Mexico City's 177.

Picture: Urban Age, LSE Cities

4. How people travel

London also uses this network about as much as the average global city, with public transport accounting for 40 per cent of all trips.

Picture: Urban Age, LSE Cities

In New York this figure stands at 60 per cent and in Hong Kong this stands at 50 per cent, however, these cities are at the upper end.

Picture: Urban Age, LSE Cities

In Istanbul meanwhile, 45 per cent of trips are made on foot, compared to our 20 per cent, and in Mumbai this figure stands at 55.5 per cent.

However, we do still use a lot of cars - presumably due to our largely low-rise residential, spread out city (compared to the likes of New York and Hong Kong).

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