Which Is London's Smallest Borough?

By Sian Meades Last edited 15 months ago
Which Is London's Smallest Borough?

On the face of it, London’s smallest borough should be easy to define. But surely that depends if you measure by population or by area size? Turns out the question of the city’s most diminutive borough isn't as clear cut as it first sounds.

Which is the smallest borough in London? Photo: Rezaul.Haque.

What defines a London borough?

The London Boroughs as we know them were defined on 1 April in 1965 — the same time as Greater London. Each borough is an area of London that is governed by a local council. There are 32 in total — 12 inner boroughs and 20 outer.

City of London: not a borough. Photo: Prad Patel.

A word about the City of London

The City of London is tiny; just 8,200 people live here. But the City of London isn't technically a borough at all, although it’s often lumped in with the rest of them. It's actually governed by the City of London Corporation rather than having its own borough council. So it's automatically out of the running.

The smallest by population?

As you might expect, the smallest borough by population is one that's in inner London. Kensington & Chelsea has just 155,930 residents. This could have something to do with the fact that the current average property price in the borough is just shy of £2m.

Toppling phone boxes are a much loved attraction in Kingston. Image: Beata Kontos.

How about outer London?

Kingston upon Thames is easily the smallest borough in outer London by population with just 170,900 residents. All other outer London boroughs have a population over 200,000.

By what about by area?

Kensington & Chelsea wins this one, too. The entire borough covers just over 12km. Though it's the neighbouring borough of Westminster that's home to 10 Hyde Park Place — arguably London's smallest house — measuring only three feet across.

Fancy moving to Richmond to join this chap? Image: Dan Raven.

Which borough is growing at the slowest rate?

Increased population size of London has been a topic up for discussion recently and it's actually Richmond that's growing the slowest — its population is expected to increase just 7.9% in the next 25 years. That doesn't sound all that slow but to put it into context Tower Hamlets is top of the list, with population growth estimated at a whopping 35%.

Bromley has a high population of balloons. Image: Alexander Williamson.

Which borough has most space then?

It’s actually Bromley that's the least crowded borough — just 2,162 people per square kilometre. It might be sparsely populated, but the calibre of its residents is high: David Bowie, Charles Darwin and HG Wells have all lived in the area.

Last Updated 21 November 2016