London’s population is set to decline for the first time in more than 30 years, driven by the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and people reassessing where they live during the crisis, according to a report by the accountancy firm PwC. It 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
The number of people living in the capital could fall by more than 300,000 this year, from a record level of about 9 million in 2020, to as low as 8.7 million. This would end decades of growth.
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. Net EU migration to the UK as a whole has fallen since the 2016 Brexit vote, and could turn negative in 2021 – meaning more people leave the UK for the EU than arrive from it.