Forget Brexit: something big is happening to London that no one is taking as seriously as they should.
London is losing young people in droves.
The Office of National Statistics’ migration data shows a rapidly accelerating outflow of young people aged 25 to 40 years old, moving out of London. This is not matched by inflows, meaning that London is rapidly losing young people on a net basis.
Number of 25-40 year olds migrating out of London, 2011 to 2017
Where are they going?
Network chart of migrants out of London, aged 25 – 40
As expected, other UK cities with high job numbers, such as Birmingham, Bristol, and Manchester, are popular destinations.
However, the majority of London leavers do not fully disconnect themselves from the London economic zone. They move into the commuter belt within the 50-mile radius of London, and commute back in to work. Train journey times into Central London can be less than half an hour even from the edges of the commuter belt, due to high-speed trains with fewer stops.
Map of 50-mile radius of London (white) with train lines and stations
Price growth in the commuter belt has outperformed London in recent years, boosted by the influx of Londoners fleeing the Big Smoke.