From its ancient roots, its kings and its conquests, its rapid growth and splendour during its zenith as capital of the British Empire, and its modern day status as one of the world's leading financial and cultural capitals, London is a city of character, of courage and above all of perpetual change.
London is one of the world’s most celebrated cities. It is the capital city of the United Kingdom and lies in the South of England, on the River Thames. Greater London covers an area of about 610 square miles (approximately 1,579 km2) and is home to around 7.5 million people (see London population). This makes it the largest urban area in the whole of Europe.
London is a very diverse place. There are over 300 languages spoken by London’s schoolchildren alone, with many who do not use English as their first or main language at home. London has always been known to be culturally very mixed, even from Roman times, and today hundreds of different ethnic communities who have settled into London life.
Today, London has continued to grow both in terms of size and in terms of diversity. Londoners have a firm reputation for being tolerant and accepting, and for providing a haven for people who have been persecuted in their own countries. London has really benefitted from having a melting pot of nationalities, especially during times when there have been a shortage of workers.
The following sections provide statistical information and facts and figures about London: