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Living and Working in Greater London

Joanna Clare

Greater London, for those who aren’t already aware, is actually quite separate from the City of London. Greater London is known as a ceremonial or geographic county and incorporates the majority of London’s regions.

It is split into 33 separate local government districts, both inner and outer London and whereas the City of London (which is governed by the City of London Corporation) is little over one square mile, Greater London, (governed by the Greater London Authority), is a substantial 606 square miles. Both have different mayors, elected for differing periods of time.

London is the largest and wealthiest city in the UK and according to the Office for National Statistics, the population currently stands at around 9 million and continues to increase as more people are attracted to the city that Dick Whittington described in the 19th century tale, as ‘paved with gold’. With this many people, you will not be surprised to learn that over 250 languages are spoken here which contributes to more ethnic diversity than anywhere else in the country.

It is one of the world's largest financial centre, an important centre for international trade, home to many large and well respected companies who choose to have their head offices here and tourism brings a constant flow of both national and international visitors. Furthermore, it is a significant focus for science and technology, financial, creative and digital industries. Although manufacturing is in decline, (having been moved to other parts of the country), due to the sheer number of residents, it has remained good news for healthcare, education, consumer services, retail and the leisure industry. Economic inactivity has reportedly fallen in Greater London which falls in line with current economic trend.

Greater London is at the core of the UKs expansive rail and road network and proudly boasts six airports.

You will find 38% of the UKs highest earners here, with an average wage of approximately £86,000. Of course, there are lower and higher wage earners but the average income can provide you with some insight into your own potential, in comparison to other parts of the UK.

Undoubtedly, the cost of living is high, as with most capital cities and there are some extremely affluent areas here which include Knightsbridge, Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster but there are also many more affordable areas which will always retain their prices, so it's definitely worth taking your time to analyse the vast array of properties available. Despite Covid, the Office for National Statistics reported an average price rise of 3.5% with sales remaining active throughout the pandemic. Rentals have also remained steady and in some places, actually falling slightly. Overseas investment has always been a strong theme within London and makes up a considerable part of the property market.

When it comes to leisure, one thing is for certain and that is however uniquely you wish to fill in your time, it is here somewhere. Whether it’s eating, retail therapy, theatres, nightlife, investigating the countless places of interest or exploring the many captivating green spaces. Interestingly, around 47% of Greater London is considered ‘green’ and 60% of this is described as ‘open spaces’.

Dr Samuel Johnson, the late writer, once said “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life, for there is in London, all that life can afford.”

I’m inclined to agree!

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