It’s the UK’s second city - with the highest population of any British metropolis outside London.
But Birmingham is welcoming thousands of Londoners leaving the capital each year and travelling the 118 miles or so up the M40 or M1 to enjoy life in the heart of England.
And with HS2 there are some who believe this could escalate further, with some London publications referring to Birmingham as a ‘commuter city’.
But with Brum shining amid a global spotlight during last year’s Commonwealth Games, and the likes of the Peaky Blinders phenomenon spreading the world about the brilliance of Birmingham, it’s no wonder thousands of Londoners are making it their home without waiting for HS2.
Our city has, of course, undergone major regeneration over the years to reach new heights, and is one of the UK’s main hubs for business and finance.
Birmingham is also celebrated for its vibrant heritage and rich culture which celebrates diversity. The city has made important contributions to arts and literature with Shakespeare haling from not too far away in Stratford-upon-Avon, and the likes of JRR Tolkien being inspired by our landscape.
Iconic bands such as Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin all have strong ties to the city, and some of the country’s best known actors hail from Brum. We’ve even got our own ballet - Birmingham Royal Ballet - and orchestra - the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestera (CBSO).
Brum is also home to the youngest population in the Europe, with under-25s accounting for nearly 40% of our population. So of course so many Londoners are now calling it home.
We’re not saying the capital is lacking amazing opportunities for people, but with extortionate house and rent prices in London in recent years and Birmingham offering a more affordable lifestyle is also a key factor for many making the move.
But how many people have chosen to leave London and make Birmingham their new home? And which parts of London is seeing the biggest number of leavers.
The number of people who have moved from London to Birmingham
Well, the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows the estimated number of people to have moved out of London boroughs and into Birmingham.
The statistics show that thousands of people make the move from the capital to Birmingham each year. And the numbers of people moving to Birmingham has remained steady over the last five years. Between 2016 and 2020, between 6,000 and 7,770 have made the move each year.
In 2016, a total of 6,529 people made the move from the capital to Birmingham. In 2017 the number rose to 7,604. A year later in 2018, the number of people moving from London to Birmingham rose slightly again to 7,770. The following year in 2019 there were 7,382 people making the same move. And in 2020, during the pandemic, there were 6,518 people who moved out of London and set up home in Brum.
This means that on average, 7161 move to Birmingham from London each year. The data also shows that 242,764 people have moved to Birmingham from elsewhere in the UK during those five years.
How does the number of people moving to Birmingham from London compare to the number of people moving to Birmingham from else where in the UK?
Regionally, the data shows that London is second only to the wider West Midlands for the amount of people to have moved to Birmingham in the last five years.
From 2016 to 2020, 88,968 people from other areas of the West Midlands have moved to Birmingham. The East Midlands was third on the list with 24079 people from the region moving to Brum, followed by the South East (22,672) and the North West (16,360).
Data by London boroughs
We can also reveal the five London boroughs with the highest number of residents moving to Birmingham between 2016 and 2020. See the top five below: