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This article is about the capital city. For the region and county of England, see Greater London. For the historic city and financial district within London, see City of London. For other uses, see London (disambiguation).

Capital city in England
Capital city
Clockwise from top: City of London in the foreground with Canary Wharf in the far background, Trafalgar Square, London Eye, Tower Bridge and a London Underground roundel in front of Elizabeth Tower
Interactive map outlining London
Location within England
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Location within the United Kingdom
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Location within Europe
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Coordinates: 51°30′26″N 0°7′39″W / 51.50722°N 0.12750°W / 51.50722; -0.12750Coordinates: 51°30′26″N 0°7′39″W / 51.50722°N 0.12750°W / 51.50722; -0.12750
Sovereign StateUnited Kingdom
Constituent CountryEngland
RegionLondon (coterminous)
CountiesGreater London
City of London
Settled by RomansAD 47[1]
as Londinium
DistrictsCity of London & 32 boroughs
 • TypeExecutive mayoralty and deliberative assembly within unitary constitutional monarchy
 • BodyGreater London Authority
Mayor Sadiq Khan (Lab)
London Assembly
 • London Assembly14 constituencies
 • UK Parliament73 constituencies
 • European ParliamentLondon constituency
 • Total[A]607 sq mi (1,572 km2)
 • Urban
671.0 sq mi (1,737.9 km2)
 • Metro
3,236 sq mi (8,382 km2)
 • City of London1.12 sq mi (2.90 km2)
 • Greater London606 sq mi (1,569 km2)
36 ft (11 m)
 • Total[A]8,908,081
 • Density14,670/sq mi (5,666/km2)
 • Urban
 • Metro
14,187,146[3] (1st)
 • City of London
8,706 (67th)
 • Greater London
GVA (2017)
 • Total£431 billion
($575 billion)
 • Per capita£48,857
Time zoneUTC (Greenwich Mean Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
Postcode areas
22 areas
  • E, EC, N, NW, SE, SW, W, WC, BR, CR, DA, EN, HA, IG, KT, RM, SM, TW, UB, WD
  • (CM, TN; partially)
Area codes
9 area codes
  • 020, 01322, 01689, 01708, 01737, 01895, 01923, 01959, 01992
PoliceCity of London
Fire and RescueLondon
International airportsHeathrow (LHR)
City (LCY)
Outside London:
Gatwick (LGW)
Stansted (STN)
Luton (LTN)
Southend (SEN)
Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom, with the largest municipal population in the European Union.[7][8] Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans.[9] The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits.[10][11][12][13][14][note 1] The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.[15][note 2][16]

London is considered to be one of the world's most important global cities[17][18][19] and has been termed the world's most powerful,[20] most desirable,[21] most influential,[22] most visited,[23] most expensive,[24][25] innovative,[26] sustainable,[27] most investment friendly,[28] most popular for work,[29] and the most vegetarian-friendly[30] city in the world. London exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism and transportation.[31][32] London ranks 26 out of 300 major cities for economic performance.[33] It is one of the largest financial centres[34] and has either the fifth or sixth largest metropolitan area GDP.[note 3][35][36][37][38][39] It is the most-visited city as measured by international arrivals[40] and has the busiest city airport system as measured by passenger traffic.[41] It is the leading investment destination,[42][43][44][45] hosting more international retailers[46][47] and ultra high-net-worth individuals[48][49] than any other city. London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe.[50] In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted three modern Summer Olympic Games.[51]

London has a diverse range of people and cultures, and more than 300 languages are spoken in the region.[52] Its estimated mid-2018 municipal population (corresponding to Greater London) was 8,908,081,[4] the most populous of any city in the European Union[53] and accounting for 13.4% of the UK population.[54] London's urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census.[55] The population within the London commuter belt is the most populous in the EU with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016.[note 4][3][56] London was the world's most populous city from c. 1831 to 1925.[57]