Pakistani community of London

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Pakistani community of London
Total population
2.7% of London's population
(20% of the total Pakistani population in the UK)[citation needed]
Regions with significant populations
Redbridge, Newham, Waltham Forest, Ealing, Brent, Hounslow, Croydon, Wandsworth, Hillingdon, Barking and Dagenham, Harrow
English (British English, Pakistani English· Punjabi · Urdu and others
Islam 92% and Christianity 2%
Related ethnic groups
Asian British people · Overseas Pakistanis · Pakistani people

The Pakistani community of London (also called Pakistani Londoners) consist of Pakistani emigrants and their descendants who have settled in London, the capital city of England and the United Kingdom. Pakistanis in London form the largest concentrated community of British Pakistanis; immigration from regions which now form Pakistan predate Pakistan's independence.[1]

Pakistanis in London represent a diverse mixture of South Asian subgroups including Punjabis, Pashtuns, Muhajirs and smaller numbers of Sindhis and Balochis among others.[2] A substantial number of British Pakistanis who arrived to London in the 1960s were qualified teachers, doctors and engineers.[3]


Proportion stating that their ethnic group was Pakistani in the 2011 census in Greater London.

Pakistani Londoners are mostly Muslims who speak Urdu and Punjabi amongst other languages.[4] The main concentrations of Pakistani settlement in London are found in Outer London with the boroughs of Redbridge, Newham and Waltham Forest accounting for nearly 40% of Londoners of Pakistani Descent.

Top 10 London Boroughs with largest population claiming Pakistani Descent as of 2021
Rank Borough Inner / Outer London Population [5] Percentage [6]
1 Redbridge Outer London 44,000 14.20%
2 Newham Inner London 31,216 8.90%
3 Waltham Forest Outer London 28,740 10.30%
4 Hounslow Outer London 17,454 6.10%
5 Ealing Outer London 16,714 4.60%
6 Barking and Dagenham Outer London 15,799 7.20%
7 Croydon Outer London 15,345 3.90%
8 Brent Outer London 15,217 4.50%
9 Hillingdon Outer London 14,243 4.70%
10 Wandsworth Inner London 12,249 3.70%
Inner and Outer London Totals
- All Inner London Boroughs Inner London 68,055 1.99%
- All Outer London Boroughs Outer London 222,494 4.05%
London Boroughs with population claiming Pakistani ethnicity of more than 2 percent
London Boroughs with population claiming Pakistani ethnicity of more than 2 percent
London Boroughs with population claiming Pakistani ethnicity of more than 2 percent
Source: Census 2011. Percentage indicates borough population of Pakistan descent


The main industries which the Pakistani community of London are employed in include wholesale and retail (including self-owned grocery stores or newsagents).[7] In 2001, 0.6% of businesses in London were owned by British Pakistanis.[7] 20% of London's Pakistani population are self-employed.[7]

The percentage of London Pakistanis employed in managerial, senior official or professional occupations is 25%, which is lower than the London average of 32%. However it is higher than the percentage of London Bangladeshis (22%) but lower than Indians (34%) and Other Asians communities (31%).[8]

The unemployment rate for Pakistani males and females in London is lower than the national average British Pakistanis living in other regions of Britain. Pakistanis are the only ethnic group (along with White Britons) who have a lower worklessness rate in London than in other areas of Britain.[9]

Social class[edit]

As of 2001, almost equal amounts of Pakistanis in Inner (45%) and Outer London (46%) were middle class.[10]

Middle class by Borough

London Pakistani middle class
Borough Pakistani middle class Overall middle class
Waltham Forest 44% N/A
Haringey 36% N/A
Newham 32% 37%


Between 1991 and 2001, out of the total growth in the London Pakistani population, 52.7% of the growth was in the middle classes.[10]

Growth in the middle class as a proportion of all growth

Region Growth
England & Wales 36.4%
South East 39.6%
Greater London 52.7%
Outer London 52.6%
Inner London 52.8%


Growth in managers and professionals as a proportion was 22.8% between 1991 and 2001.

Growth in managers and professionals as a proportion of all growth

Region Growth
England & Wales 15.8%
South East 18%
Greater London 22.8%
Outer London 22.6%
Inner London 23.5%


There are stark social differences in Pakistanis living in different boroughs of London. Whilst in Brent and Harrow London Pakistanis are fairly prosperous and mostly Middle Class. The opposite is true in Newham, where they are mostly working class and more likely to suffer from deprivation.[11]

Several upper class Pakistanis also live in London, sometimes only for part of the year. The former Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif and former President and Chief of Army Staff Pervez Musharraf currently reside in London.[12][13]


London Pakistani GCSE Pass Rates by Borough
Degree Level Qualifications

Key Stage 2

Latest figures available, regarding London Pakistanis, by local authority, dated: year 2004. At Key Stage 2 Pakistani children in London have higher attainment rates in both English and Maths, when compared with the British Pakistani average.[14]


In contrast to Pakistanis from other regions of Britain. Pakistanis in London achieve above average GCSE Pass Rates. For example, in 2004, 50.2% of London Pakistani boys achieved five or more A*-C grades, compared with the national average of 46.8%. Furthermore, 63.3% of Pakistani girls in London reached that threshold compared to the national average of 57%.[3]

The achievement of Pakistanis in London at GCSE level is 10 percentage points higher than that of Pakistanis throughout England.[14] The highest attainment within London was found in the borough of Redbridge.

Degree Level Qualifications

Pakistani applicants to universities are over-represented by 7.5% from Greater London.[3] In education, Pakistanis in London performed the highest out of all British Pakistanis in the 2001 census. This is not just reflected in above average GCSE pass rates but also in degree level qualifications, with 32% of London Pakistanis having degree level or higher qualifications. This is marginally higher than the London average of 31% and is more than twice as high as the figure for London Bangladeshis (15%), equal to the figure for "Other Asians" and comparable to the figure of 34% for London Indians. Pakistanis in Inner London do slightly better than those in Outer London, with 33% reaching the benchmark compared to 32% in Outer London. The figure is higher than the national average of 20% and almost twice as high as the figure for Pakistanis throughout the UK (18%).

Pakistani men are better qualified than the average Londoner,[7] with 37% possessing a degree level or higher qualification, although Pakistani women have fewer educational qualifications, with 27% having the same qualifications. The figure for Pakistani women in London is still higher than the national or British Pakistani national average.[15]


In similarity to Pakistanis living in other parts of the UK, 91% of Pakistanis in London are Muslims. The other 6% are made up of people who did not declare their religion; Christians made up 2% and those with no religion made up 1%.[16] Pakistanis make up only 22% of London's Muslim population, in contrast to 43% for British Pakistanis living throughout the UK.[2]

Notable Londoners of Pakistani origin[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Pakistani London". BBC. 26 May 2005. Retrieved 30 May 2009.
  2. ^ a b "The Pakistani Muslim Community in England" (PDF). The Change Institute, Department for Communities and Local Government. March 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 September 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2009.
  3. ^ a b c Richardson, Robin; Angela Wood (2004). The Achievement of British Pakistani Learners (PDF). Trentham Books, in association with the Uniting Britain Trust, Ltd. Retrieved 30 May 2009.
  4. ^ "20thcentury Pakistani London". Renaissance London. Archived from the original on 14 September 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
  5. ^ "Ethnic group - Office for National Statistics". Retrieved 16 July 2023.
  6. ^ "Census Maps - Ethnic group - Office for National Statistics". Retrieved 16 July 2023.
  7. ^ a b c d "Pakistani London". Museum of London. Retrieved 30 May 2009.
  8. ^ "Pakistani community of London" (PDF). London Assembly. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 January 2009. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
  9. ^ Meadows, Pamela (2006). Worklessness in London: explaining the difference between London and the UK (PDF). London: Greater London Authority. p. 8. ISBN 1-85261-818-3. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  10. ^ a b c d e Philip Cohen and Michael J. Rustin (January 2008). London's turning: Thames Gateway London's turning, The Making of Thames Gateway. Ashgate. ISBN 9780754670636. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
  11. ^ "Pakistan Mapping Exercise" (PDF). IOM London. p. 11. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
  12. ^ Dominiczak, Peter (10 September 2009). "Pervez Musharraf's London pad surrounded by kebab joints". London Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 24 May 2010. Retrieved 31 May 2010.
  13. ^ "Baroness Warsi calls on Nawaz Sharif". Daily Times. 19 May 2010. Retrieved 31 May 2010.
  14. ^ a b Vision for London 2008-2011: London education on the way to world class (PDF). Nottingham: Department for Children, Schools and Families. 2008. ISBN 978-1-84775-180-5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 April 2013. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  15. ^ Piggott, Gareth (4 January 2005). "2001 Census Profiles: Pakistanis in London" (PDF). Data Management and Analysis Group. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 September 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2010.
  16. ^ "Round Ethnic Group Projections" (PDF). Greater London Authority. 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
  17. ^ Tariq Ali Biography Archived 2007-10-01 at the Wayback Machine, Contemporary Writers, accessed 31 October 2006
  18. ^ "As 250 Killed in Clashes Near Afghan Border, British-Pakistani Author Tariq Ali on Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Ongoing U.S. Role in Regional Turmoil Archived 2007-11-14 at the Wayback Machine". Democracy Now!. 10 October 2007. Retrieved on 11 October 2007.
  19. ^ "Princess Diana's 'Mr Wonderful' Hasnat Khan Still Haunted by her Death". Sky News. 13 January 2008. Retrieved 25 August 2008.
  20. ^ Hasan Suroor (28 May 2011). "Pakistan is in terminal decline". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  21. ^ Catherine Boyle (27 March 2010). "Asian entrepreneurs present best way to succeed". London: Times Newspapers. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  22. ^ Paul Kelso (17 June 2002). "The winners". London: Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  23. ^ "ASIAN OF THE YEAR 1997-98 Sir Mohammed Anwar Pervez OBE". Asian who's who. Archived from the original on 12 January 2008. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
  24. ^ Stephen Brenkley (10 February 2002). "Shah happy in look and learn mode". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 24 May 2022. Retrieved 15 July 2011.