kids encyclopedia robot

London Borough of Newham facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
London Borough of Newham
Coat of arms of London Borough of Newham
Coat of arms
Official logo of London Borough of Newham
Council logo
Progress with the People
Newham shown within Greater London
Newham shown within Greater London
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region London
Ceremonial county Greater London
Created 1 April 1965
Admin HQ East Ham
 • Type London borough council
 • Body Newham London Borough Council
 • Total 13.98 sq mi (36.22 km2)
Area rank 298th (of 326)
 • Total 353,134
 • Rank 20th (of 326)
 • Density 25,252/sq mi (9,749.7/km2)
 • Ethnicity
10.7% White British
0.7% White Irish
0.2% White Gypsy or Irish Traveller
11.4% Other White
1.3% White & Black Caribbean
1.1% White & Black African
0.9% White & Asian
1.3% Other Mixed
16.8% Indian
11.8% Pakistani
14.9% Bangladeshi
8.4% Chinese
6.5% Other Asian
15.8% Black African
9.8% Black Caribbean
2.4% Other Black
1.1% Arab
2.3% Other
Time zone UTC (GMT)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+1 (BST)
Area code(s) 020
ONS code 00BB
GSS code E09000025
Police Metropolitan Police

The London Borough of Newham is a London borough created in 1965 by the London Government Act 1963. It covers an area previously administered by the Essex county boroughs of West Ham and East Ham, authorities that were both abolished by the same act. The name Newham reflects its creation and combines the compass points of the old borough names. Situated on the borders of inner and outer East London, Newham has a population of 353,134, which is the third highest of the London boroughs and also makes it the 20th most populous district in England. The local authority is Newham London Borough Council.

It is 5 miles (8 km) east of the City of London, north of the River Thames (the Woolwich Ferry and Woolwich foot tunnel providing the only crossings to the south), bounded by the River Lea to its west and the North Circular Road to its east. Newham was one of the six host boroughs for the 2012 Summer Olympics and contains most of the Olympic Park including the London Stadium, and also contains the London City Airport. Major districts include East Ham, Stratford, Plaistow, Forest Gate and Canning Town.


The borough was formed by merging the former area of the Essex county borough of East Ham and the county borough of West Ham as a borough of the newly formed Greater London, on 1 April 1965 - these in turn were successors to the ancient civil and ecclesiastical parishes of East Ham and West Ham. Green Street and Boundary Road mark the former boundary between the two. North Woolwich also became part of the borough (previously being in the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich, south of the river Thames in the County of London) along with a small area west of the River Roding which had previously been part of the Municipal Borough of Barking. Newham was devised for the borough as an entirely new name.


Population figures

Year Pop. ±%
1801 8,875 —    
1811 11,166 +25.8%
1821 13,005 +16.5%
1831 15,553 +19.6%
1841 17,758 +14.2%
1851 24,875 +40.1%
1861 69,355 +178.8%
1871 113,835 +64.1%
1881 158,314 +39.1%
1891 259,155 +63.7%
1901 338,506 +30.6%
1911 442,158 +30.6%
1921 448,081 +1.3%
1931 454,096 +1.3%
1941 377,508 −16.9%
1951 313,837 −16.9%
1961 271,858 −13.4%
1971 235,496 −13.4%
1981 209,131 −11.2%
1991 221,146 +5.7%
2001 243,737 +10.2%
2011 307,984 +26.4%
Source: A Vision of Britain through time, citing Census population

Newham has, after Barnet and Croydon, the third highest population of the London boroughs, with a population numbering 382,984 as of 2021. Despite growing since the 1980s, it is still drastically lower than its pre-war peak. In the period between 1951 and 1981, Newham's population shrunk by 28.87% owing to factors such as the war bombings and the increasingly high unemployment. The redevelopment of the Docklands as well as development related to the 2012 Olympics have contributed to reversing its declining trend.


Newham has the youngest overall population and one of the lowest indigenous White British populations in the country according to the 2011 UK Census. The borough has the second-highest percentage of Muslims in the UK, after the neighbouring London Borough of Tower Hamlets, at 32%. A 2017 report from Trust for London and the New Policy Institute found that 36% of local employees in Newham are in low paid work; the highest percentage of any London borough. Newham also has a 37% poverty rate, which is the second-highest rate in London.

Newham is ethnically extremely diverse. When using Simpson's Diversity Index on 10 aggregated ethnic groups, the 2001 UK Census identified Newham as the most ethnically diverse district in England and Wales, with 9 wards in the top 15. However, when using the 16 ethnic categories in the Census so that White Irish and White Other ethnic minorities are also included in the analysis, Newham becomes the second-most ethnically diverse borough with six out of the top 15 wards, behind Brent with 7 out of the top 15 wards.

Newham has the lowest percentage of White British residents of all of London's boroughs. The White British proportion of the population fell from 33.8% in 2001 to 16.7% in 2011; this decrease of 37.5 percentage points is the largest of any local authority in England and Wales between the two censuses. The joint-lowest wards with White British population are Green Street East and Green Street West, both having 4.8% – the third-lowest behind Southall Broadway and Southall Green in Ealing. East Ham North follows closely, at 4.9%.

People of White British ancestry nevertheless remain the largest single ethnic group in the borough. The largest non-White British ethnic groups are Indian (14%), African (12%), Bangladeshi (12%) and Pakistani (10%). Newham has had a large Asian community for many decades; more than half of Newham's Upton and Kensington wards were of ethnic minority origin in 1981. The nationality to increase the most in number since 1991 is the Bangladeshi community. Newham has the largest total population of Asian origin in London; it is notably a borough with high populations of all three largest British Asian nationalities: Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi - Newham has the 5th highest Indian population in London and the 2nd highest each for both Pakistani and Bangladeshi.

Newham has 1,340 residents who were born in Ukraine, the highest population of Ukrainians in the UK.

Table with 2001/2011 data
Ethnic Group 2001 2011 2016 (Projection) 2020 (Estimate)
Number % Number % Percentage (%) Number %
White: British 82,390 33.78% 51,516 16.73% 13.5% 47,858 13.2
White: Irish 3,231 1.32% 2,172 0.71% 0.7% 2,835 0.8
White: Gypsy or Irish Traveller 462 0.15% - -
White: Other 10,509 4.31% 35,066 11.39% 12.6% 49,660 13.7
White: Total 96,130 39.42% 89,216 28.97% 26.8% 100,353 27.5%
Asian or Asian British: Indian 29,597 12.14% 42,484 13.79% 15.0% 53,917 14.8
Asian or Asian British: Pakistani 20,644 8.46% 30,307 9.84% 10.4% 35,777 9.8%
Asian or Asian British: Bangladeshi 21,458 8.80% 37,262 12.10% 12.4% 45,259 12.4%
Asian or Asian British: Chinese 2,349 0.96% 3,930 1.28% 1.4% 5,984 1.6%
Asian or Asian British: Other Asian 7,603 3.12% 19,912 6.47% 6.6% 24,134 6.6%
Asian or Asian British: Total 81,651 33.48% 133,895 43.47% 46.1% 165,071 45.3%
Black or Black British: Caribbean 17,931 7.35% 15,050 4.89% 4.4% 14,837 4.1%
Black or Black British: African 31,982 13.11% 37,811 12.28% 11.2% 40,439 11.1%
Black or Black British: Other Black 2,740 1.12% 7,395 2.40% 2.6% 9,533 2.6%
Black or Black British: Total 52,653 21.59% 60,256 19.56% 18.3% 64,809 17.8%
Mixed: White and Black Caribbean 2,986 1.22% 3,957 1.28% 4,108 1.1%
Mixed: White and Black African 1,657 0.68% 3,319 1.08% 4,013 1.1%
Mixed: White and Asian 1,652 0.68% 2,677 0.87% 4,127 1.1%
Mixed: Other Mixed 1,953 0.80% 3,992 1.30% 6,035 1.7%
Mixed: Total 8,248 3.38% 13,945 4.53% 4.9% 18,283 5.0%
Other: Arab 3,523 1.14% 4,732 1.3%
Other: Any other ethnic group 7,149 2.32% 10,317 2.8%
Other: Total 5,209 2.14% 10,672 3.47% 3.9% 15,049 4.1%
BAME: Total 147,761 60.58% 218,768 71.03% 260,680 72.9%
Total 243,891 100.00% 307,984 100.00% 100.00% 364,346 100.00%


Circle frame-1.svg

Religion in Newham as of 2011.      Christianity (40%)     Islam (32%)     Irreligion (9.3%)     Hindu (8.8%)     Sikh (2.1%)     Buddhist (0.8%)     Jewish (0.1%)     Other (6.9%)

Places of interest

Newham Town Hall
Newham Town Hall in East Ham (E6)


  • The Hub, a community resource centre built by the local community, in Star Lane, E16, featuring up to the minute "green" features
  • Grassroots, also built by the local community and another innovative green resource centre built by the community. Grassroots is in Memorial Recreation Ground, E15
  • Rosetta Art Centre, situated in walking distance to Grassroots, also in E15


Newham has ten libraries (Beckton, Canning Town, Custom House, East Ham, Green Street, Manor Park, North Woolwich, Plaistow, Stratford and Forest Gate).

Canning Town Library was first opened in 1893 and still operates in the original building on Barking Road (albeit with repairs and a reconstructed interior following damage from air raids in 1940 and 1941). Its opening hours are Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday: 9:30am–5:30pm, Wednesday and Sunday: Closed, Thursday: 9:30am–8:00pm.


  • North Woolwich Old Station Museum. Closed in 2008.
  • Three Mills, a mill complex on the east bank of the River Lee. A trading site for nearly a thousand years, the House Mill was built in 1776 and was (and remains) the country's largest tide mill. It has been restored and contains much of its original machinery including four large waterwheels, millstones and grain chutes.


There are a number of local markets in the Borough, including Queens Market, which the Council is controversially seeking to redevelop. These proposals are being fought by Friends of Queens Market.

Parks and open spaces

80 hectares within the borough are designated as part of the Metropolitan Green Belt.


Green Street
Green Street where the population is predominantly South Asian
  • Theatre Royal Stratford East
  • St Mark's Church, Silvertown The church was designed by Samuel Saunders Teulon. It was built between 1861 and 1862 after a cholera epidemic swept the district and local clergy appealed through the columns of The Times for funds to provide an architectural, as well as spiritual, beacon for the area. It is now the home of the Brick Lane Music Hall.

Shopping and exhibitions

  • Queen's Market – An ethnically diverse market
  • ExCeL Exhibition Centre – major exhibitions such as the Motor Show are now held at ExCeL
  • ICC London - ExCeL – London's new International Conference Centre which opened on 1 May 2010
  • Gallions Reach Shopping Park Out of town retail park
  • East Shopping Centre, Europe's first purpose-built boutique Asian shopping centre
  • Green Street, the largest shopping centre catering for the Asian community in London
  • Stratford Shopping Centre, a shopping centre which includes a small market and typical chainstores
  • Westfield Shopping Centre, Stratford The largest Westfield Shopping Centre in Europe. Opened in September 2011.


  • Newham was one of the six host boroughs for the 2012 Summer Olympics. As a result, it has been undergoing major upheavals, especially in the north of the borough, which are anticipated to end around 2016. The borough hopes to gain many advantages for its residents during that period.
  • West Ham United F.C. play its home matches at the London Stadium (formally the Olympic Stadium) in Stratford.
  • The Newham and Essex Beagles Athletics Club has its headquarters at the Terence McMillan Stadium, part of Newham Leisure Centre, in Plaistow.
  • Clapton F.C., a non-league football club, plays in Forest Gate.
  • London APSA F.C. a non-league football club, plays in Plaistow.
  • London Lituanica, a basketball team playing in the English Basketball League
  • Thomas Mac Curtain's women's GAA team train weekly at the East London Rugby Club


The local newspaper is the Newham Recorder.


Building 1000
Building 1000 – Newham Council Headquarters


The borough is covered by the following ecclesiastical parishes of the Church of England:


Since the 1980s, public transport in Newham has undergone many upgrades and improvements are still continuing to this day. The Jubilee Line Extension was completed in 1999, including new or improved stations at Canning Town, West Ham and Stratford. The Docklands Light Railway opened in 1987 and has undergone many extensions since, predominantly serving Newham and neighbouring Tower Hamlets. The DLR network compensates for Newham's lack of tube stations, of which there are only 6, in comparison with other London boroughs. It was extended to serve London City Airport, as well as Stratford International station in 2011 after its High Speed 1 link opened in late 2009. The Crossrail scheme will also improve rail connections to several stations as it heads through the borough on an east west axis. As a result of all the recent developments, the borough contains one of only two airports located within the Greater London boundary and currently the only railway station outside of central London that is served by high speed rail.

BACF departure London city Airport
London City Airport is in Newham

List of stations

Travel to work

In March 2011, the main forms of transport that residents used to travel to work were: underground, metro, light rail, tram, 23.0% of all residents aged 16–74; driving a car or van, 7.6%; bus, minibus or coach, 7.6%; train, 7.2%; on foot, 4.1%; work mainly at or from home, 1.4%; bicycle, 1.0%.

River services

Cable car

  • Emirates Air Line

International services

Bus routes

London Buses routes 5, 25, 58, 69, 86, 97, 101, 104, 108, 115, 147, 158, 173, 238, 241, 257, 262, 276, 300, 308, 309, 323, 325, 330, 339, 366, 376, 388, 425, 473, 474, 541, D8, W19, School buses routes 673, 678 and Night route N8, N15, N86, N205, N550 and N551.

Town twinning

Newham is twinned with:


A 2017 report by Trust for London and the New Policy Institute finds that the GCSE attainment gap between advantaged and disadvantaged pupils in Newham is the 4th best out of 32 London boroughs.

Schools and colleges

The Borough is the education authority for the district providing education in a mix of Foundation, community and voluntary aided schools. The borough also owns and operates Debden House, a residential adult education college in Loughton, Essex, and is home to the Rosetta Art Centre, a dedicated visual art organisation which delivers courses at its base in Stratford and produces participatory art projects, programmes and initiatives. The Essex Primary School in Sheridan Road with over 900 pupils is one of the biggest primary schools in London.


The University of East London has two campuses in Newham:

Birkbeck Stratford is a collaboration between Birkbeck, University of London and UEL to increase participation in adult learning. This is based on the UEL/Birkbeck shared campus, USS (University Square Stratford), in the centre of Stratford.

The University of East London had formed a partnership with the United States Olympic Committee which resulted in the United States Olympic Team using University of East London campuses as training bases during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

kids search engine
London Borough of Newham Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.