Having previously mapped the birth places of our monarchs, a reader prompted us to do the same from British Prime ministers*. We listen to our readers, so here it is.
View Prime Ministers in a larger map
- Our nation has been overseen by 55 Prime Ministers, from Robert Walpole in 1721 to Boris Johnson.
- A staggering 18 Prime Ministers were born in central London. That's almost a third of all incumbents. In addition, several were born in areas that are now considered to be part of the capital, including Clement Attlee in Putney and John Major in Carshalton.
- No British Prime Minister was ever born in Wales or the south-west counties of England. Jim Callaghan is the closest, hailing from Portsmouth.
- While Wales is barren of Prime Ministers, Scotland is a fertile source. Seven PMs are from north of the border, including both Blair and Brown.
- Only two PMs were born outside the British Isles. Bonar Law took his first breath in New Brunswick, now part of Canada and, of course, Boris Johnson was born in Manhattan's Upper East Side.
- Quite a few of the PMs in the map above are not accurately placed — for several, we can find no information beyond 'London' or 'Edinburgh'. If you can narrow the locations down further, do let us know.
- David Cameron was born within five minutes' walk of the Chamber of Horrors at Madame Tussauds. Just sayin'.
*Pedant's Note: We're working with the convention that Robert Walpole was the first Prime Minister, even though he didn't use the title. We're also using the term 'British' in its lightest sense to encapsulate the several territorial unions that have made up the country since the time of the first PM.
Update 30 March 2016: thanks to reader Carolyn for information on the Duke of Grafton.
Update 11 July 2016: added Theresa May, as the designate Prime Minister.
Update 23 July 2019: added Boris Johnson as the designate Prime Minister.