The cultural diversity of London is something that is becoming increasingly evident throughout the capital. Although it is something that has always existed in the city to some degree, in recent years the boom in migration has exacerbated the situation. The people of London are now notably diverse in origin, religion and spoken language, to name just a few.
Statistics taken from the 2011 Census further prove this point by showing that more than 100 languages are currently being spoken in almost every London borough.
The amount of people who reside in the city and speak English as a first language is now at 78%. This leaves the remaining 22%, equivalent to 1.7 million people, having a foreign first language. Most concerning in terms of integration is that 320,000 of these people say that they cannot speak English well or at all.
The Office for National Statistics has also released figures stating that there are 53 main spoken languages in London, being spoken by approximately 0.1% of the city’s population. There are a further 54 dialects which are considered variations of more well established languages.
Apart from English, Polish is the most commonly spoken language in London and is used as a main language by 2% of inhabitants.The most linguistically diverse borough in London has been named as Hillingdon where all of the 107 languages outlined in the Census are being spoken.
Second to Hillingdon is Newham where 104 of these languages are spoken and 41% of residents in this borough do not speak English as a first language.
The 2011 Census took information from 7.8 million Londoners and truly represented the linguistic diversity that has been encouraged by immigration.