The population of London is approximately 7,839,696. The city covers some 1,583 sq. km. or 611 sq. miles. London is the largest city in Western Europe.
Founded in AD 50, London is unusual in that while most Roman towns were built over previous sites, it was created from scratch.
London Underground, aka the Tube, carries over one billion passengers a year and services 270 stations along its travels. It was the world’s first underground transit system when its first station opened on 10 January 1863. Waterloo station has the most commuters with 82 million people passing through each year.
Olympic Park, an area of land the size of 357 football pitches, was converted from an industrial area into a top environmental showcase for the Olympics, and it will remain after the Games are over. With thousands of native species of plants, the Park will also incorporate cafes, markets and shops and create thousands of jobs for the city. It is estimated that 500,000 plants have been planted in the wetlands area and 4,000 newts were relocated to the Waterworks Nature Preserve.
There will be an estimated 500,000 spectators a day during the 2012 Summer Olympics with a total of 7.6 million Olympics tickets and 1.5 million Paralympics tickets.
In 1666, half of London was burned down in the Great Fire, with 70,000 of the 80,000 homes of the lower-class populace being destroyed; however, only six people were recorded injured. Despite protests, London reconstruction used almost the exact same street plan as before the Great Fire.
London’s newly constructed Olympic Stadium extends 60 metres high above the playing field and has a perimeter of 860 metres.
London was named the best European city for shopping by the Globe Shopper City index, and Oxford Street is the busiest shopping street in Europe. As of 2011, Oxford Street contained 300 shops and stores. A number of department stores consider their home or ‘flagship’ stores to be at this location, including Selfridges, Marks & Spencer, and Debenhams.
17% of the UK’s total GDP comes from London. This is roughly equal to the GDP of Sweden, Belgium, or Russia. The London Stock Exchange is also the largest exchange in the world, responsible for 32% of the world’s transactions.
The workforce in London, at around 9 million people, is the largest concentration of labour in Europe. London has close to 13,000 businesses operating in the City.
As of September 2011, there were around 2,900 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange for a total of £2.3 trillion. There were also approximately 12 million trades during that month equal to £167 billion.
85% of employed greater Londoners have jobs in the service industries. The second and third most popular industries are construction and manufacturing.
It is estimated that 1.3 million people move in and out of the city of London annually.
“London is a modern Babylon.” - Benjamin Disraeli
“By seeing London, I have seen as much of life as the world can show.” - Samuel Johnson
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