John McDermott in his Off Message blog at the FT muses on London being a young city in an ageing country. Maps sourced from Neal Hudson at Savills show clearly how the mean age of the population in the central, northern and western boroughs is going down. Only in the outer east and outer south-east is mean age of population rising. This is of course in contrast to most of the rest of the UK. This demographic change is driven both by continuing international migration (mostly younger, working people) and by the birth rate.
This is both a new and an old story. The new bit is globalisation, the rise in international migration flows (both in and out) and the gentrification of inner London. The older story is London and the South East as an ‘escalator region’ (see the work of Tony Fielding and Tony Champion for example) – that is a place that draws in people at early stages of their careers, many of whom move out at later stages taking their capital (financial and human) with them.