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An explanation of London Boroughs

  • May 21, 2020

Whilst many international doctors decide they’d like to work in London, or even live in London, it is important to note that London is extremely diverse, with each area offering something different.

The London boroughs are the 32 local authority districts that make up Greater London; each is governed by a different London borough council. This blog posts aims to provide a quick overview of each of the different Boroughs, providing information on their location within London, their population and the schooling available.

Barking and Dagenham

Barking and Dageeham lie to the East of Central London. It is an Outer London Borough. There are 5 infant schools, 5 junior schools, 35 primary schools, and 8 secondary schools in the borough with an overall population of 211,998.


Barnet is a suburban borough located in North London. It is an Outer London borough and the largest by population, with 385,000 inhabitants. According to the governments website, there are 127 primary schools and a further 54 secondary schools located in the borough.


Bexley is a South London borough, forming part of Outer London, boasting over 1500 acres of open space and green parkland. The population within the borough lies at 247, 300. The borough has a total of 73 Primary Schools and a further 23 Secondary Schools.


Brent is located in NorthWest London, forming part of Outer London. The major areas of the borough include Wembley, Kilburn, Willesden and Neasden. According to the governments website Brent has both 86 Primary Schools and 28 Secondary schools, with an overall borough population of 330,800.


Bromley is the largest of all of the London boroughs, and promotes itself as the ‘clean and green’ borough, with a total of 331,100 inhabitants. The borough is the southeasternmost of the all 32 boroughs. Within Bromley there are 97 primary schools and a further 39 secondary schools.


The Borough of Camden is a borough located in North West London. Camden is one of London’s liveliest boroughs and the centre of varied shopping outlets, with fashion, antiques, music, arts and crafts filling the streets in markets and boutiques. Camden holds 74 primary schools and 32 secondary schools, with a total borough population of 262, 230.

The city of Westminster

The city of Westminster is an Inner London Borough that holds city status. The population currently lies at around 255, 400, with 67 Primary Schools and 40 Secondary Schools in the borough. Westminster has a lot to offer, from Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament, to some of the best Shopping in London including Covent Garden, Soho and Carnaby Street.


Croyden is located in South London, placed between the city and Gatwick, with excellent rail links into the capital. Croyden boasts one of the most extensive shopping centers outside London’s west end, and is home to over 385,000 people. The borough hosts 110 Primary schools and 47 Secondary Schools.


Ealing is arguably one of West London’s most attractive boroughs, comprising of several major towns including Southall, Acton and Perivale. Ealing has 91 state run schools and nurseries, with an overall amount of 92 Primary Schools and 34 Secondary Schools. The population of the borough lies at 341,900.


Enfield borough is located 12 miles North from the centre of London, and is known as a diverse place, welcoming communities from across the world. Enfield is the home to 333,869 people, and has 94 Secondary Schools and 37 Secondary Schools.


Greenwhich lies on the South bank of the thames and is rich in maritime history and architectural heritage. The borough contains 73 Primary Schools and 32 Secondary, with a total population of around 286,186.


Hackney is an inner London borough, possessing a rich mix of cultures and traditions and located 5 miles North East of Charing Cross. The population of Hackney rests at around 279,665 and the borough contains 90 Primary Schools and a further 43 Secondary Schools.

Hammersmith and Fulham

Hammersmith and Fulham is a borough that brims with history and diversity, partly in West London and partly in South West London, forming part of Inner London. The resident population was just over 182,000 at the Last census, with the sixth highest population density in England and Wales. Theree are now 41 Primary Schools in the borough and a further 12 Secondary Schools.


Haringey is located in North London, classified by some as part of Inner London. There are 83 Primary Schools and 24 Secondary Schools in the borough, with a total resident population of 270,624.


Harrow is the largest district in North West London, with a population of 250,149. It has a large town centre boasting two shopping centres and shops throughout Station Road and College Road. The borough contains 58 Primary Schools, 25 Secondary Schools, Harrow School and is home to a University of Westminster Campus.


The borough of Havering is in East London, forming part of the Outer Zone. The borough is mainly surburban, however half of Havering is situation in the ‘Green Belt’, boasting three country parks and large areas of open space, with a total population of 257,850. The principle town is Romford. There are 70 Primary Schools and 26 Secondary Schools contained within the Borough.


Hillingdon is London’s least densely populated borough, with a large amount of ‘Green Belt’ land that includes over 800 acres of woodland, including The Colne Valley, a a beautiful spot for walking, fishing and birdwatching. Here there are 84 Primary Schools and 34 Secondary Schools and a total population of 304,824.


The borough of Hounslow is in West London, forming part of the Outer Zone, boasting a wealth of beautiful parks, open country areas and riverside walks. The borough has a population of 270,782 and has access to both 71 Primary Schools and 30 Secondary Schools.


Islington is an Inner borough of London, with an estimated population of 240,000. The vibrant borough boasts a thriving fringe theatre and literary scene as well as a wealth of fantastic restaurants. The borough consists of 58 Primary Schools and a further 20 Secondary Schools.

Kensington and Chelsea

Kensington and Chelsea is the smallest of all of the boroughs, known for it’s thriving atmosphere, and central location. It is one of the most densely populated regions in the United Kingdom. The borough itself has an estimated population of 196,197. In the South-West of the borough is Notting Hill, one of the most famous and attractive parts of London, home to Portobello Road and host of Notting Hill Carnival. The borough has 60 Primary Schools and 30 Secondary Schools.


Kingston is a bustling market town, beautifully situated on the banks of the River Thames, located in South West London. The borough itself is perfect for commuting with many transport links to and from the centre, with a population of 175, 470. Kingston-Upon-Thames has access to 49 Primary Schools and a further 21 Secondary Schools.


The London borough of Lambeth is a long, thin borough, home to many diverse communities as well as the cultural hub of South Bank. Lambeth’s civic centre is Brixton, known as a highly multi-cultural area, with a thriving shopping centre and market. The borough has a population of 325, 920 and hosts 72 Primary Schools and 27 Secondary Schools.


Lewisham is an Inner South London Borough.  The borough has 72 Primary Schools and 27 Secondary Schools and is home to 303,536 people. Lewisham benefits from attractive residential neighborhoods and one of the highest number of green spaces in London.


Merton is a borough in South West London, home to the legendary Wimbledon Tennis Championships. Merton has an estimated population of 206,186 with 60 Primary Schools and a further 20 Secondary Schools.


Newham is in the heart of East London and is one of the most diverse places in the country, with more than 200 dialects spoken. The borough is also home to London City Airport, the Olympic Stadium and Westfield Stratford City, with a total population of 352,000. The borough has access to 86 Primary Schools and a further 30 Secondary Schools.


The Borough of Redbridge is in East London, known as the ‘leafy borough’ as one quarter of it is covered by forest land and greenery. Redbridge is family-orientated with an abundance of sports pitches and children’s play areas. The population sits at 303,858 and according to the governments website, there are 76 Primary Schools and 28 Secondary Schools available in Redbridge borough.

Richmond Upon Thames

Richmond Upon-Thames is in the South West of the Outer London Zone and is the only borough on both sides of the River Thames. For sports fans, Richmond Upon Thames hosts Twickenham Stadium, the home of English Rugby. The borough boasts magnificent houses and gardens with a further 100 green parks and open spaces. The population of the borough lies at an estimated 196, 900 and there are 69 Primary Schools including nurseries and a further 30 Secondary schools.


Southwark borough is in South London, home to the Shard, Tate Modern, Shakespares Globe Theatre and the Imperial War Museum. Southwark has 86 Primary Schools and 34 Secondary Schools, with a total borough population of 317,256.


Sutton is located in South West Outer London with a population of 204,525. The borough is known for being excitingly diverse with lots of historical attractions. In regards to education, the borough does have 49 Primary Schools and 24 Secondary Schools including Academies and Nurseries. 

Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets is situated in the East of London and includes one of the highest ethnic minority populations in the capital with an established British Bangladeshis business and residential community. The borough hosts 84 Primary Schools including nurseries and a further 32 Secondary Schools including colleges, whilst having an estimated population of 317,705.

Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest borough lies to the North East of central London, made up of three neighborhoods: Chingford in the north, Walthamstow in the centre and Leyton and Leytonstone in the south. It is a diverse borough with 62% of residents being from minority ethnic backgrounds. The population is estimated as 276,700 and according to the Government’s website, the borough is home to 66 Primary Schools and 27 Secondary Schools.


Wandsworth is a picturesque borough set in the heart of South West London on the banks of the Thames and hosts 98 Primary schools including nurseries and a further 35 Secondary Schools. The population is estimated as 326, 474. Wandsworth is home to Clapham Junction railway station, the country’s busiest station. The borough also features some of London’s most well-known open spaces, including Wimbledon Common, Battersea Park and Wandsworth Common.

Relocation to the UK

If you are an international doctor who would like to relocate to the UK and join the NHS, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your journey to relocate to the UK.

Are you a member of our Facebook group? When you join IMG Advisor, you join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs to the group every day. We will also be on hand to answer all of your relocation queries.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 60 videos covering everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS.

Listen to BDI Resourcing on the go with IMG Advisor the Podcast. You can listen to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Buzzsprout. We have a number of episodes with tips and advice on relocating to the UK and the routes you can take to achieve this.


LondonTown. (2020). | The 33 London Boroughs. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Feb. 2020].

London City Hall. (2020). In my area. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Feb. 2020].

GOV.UK. (2020). Find and compare schools in England. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Feb. 2020].


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