How London became one of the biggest cities in Europe

With a population of approximately 9.0 million people, London is actually in the top five of the biggest cities in Europe. But how and especially why, did the capital of England become such a big city?

The city “Londinium” was founded by the Romans in AD43. In this time, approximately 50’000 people lived in this city. During the next few hundred years, Londinium got occupied by different peoples like the Vikings in the ninth century or the Normans in 1067.

The city grew really fast because the port of London became one of the most important for the distribution of goods. In mid seventeenth century the city grew to 500’000 inhabitants. A big negative event happened in 1666 as a fire burnt down the biggest part of London. It took many years for the city to recover from that.
In addition to the port, London also grew because of the founding of the Bank of England. One of the first bank and most successful in the world. In the years from 1750 to 1900 the population increased from 600’000 to 4’500’000 people, due to the Industrial Revolution in this time.

Between the World War I and World War II, Londons suburbs grew faster than ever. During the second World War, London got huge damages and tens of thousand buildings were destroyed due to bombing of the Nazis. After the War, London had to be rebuilt and especially housing was needed because many people got homeless.

As of 1950s a high number of immigrants moved to London and changed the city to one of the most multicultural in Europe. After the low point of 6.8 million people in 1980s, the population increased again and reached 8.7 million in 2019.


File:Antique map of London by Braun & Hogenberg.jpg

Antique map of London

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