London Borough of Newham

The London Borough of Newham (/ˈnjəm/ ) 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 in the Inner London part of East London, Newham has a population of 387,576, which is the fourth highest of the London boroughs and also makes it the 26th most populous district in England. The local authority is Newham London Borough Council.

London Borough of Newham
Coat of arms of London Borough of Newham
Official logo of London Borough of Newham
Progress with the People
Newham shown within Greater London
Newham shown within Greater London
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionInner London
Ceremonial countyGreater London
Created1 April 1965
Admin HQEast Ham
 • TypeLondon borough council
 • BodyNewham London Borough Council
 • London AssemblyUnmesh Desai (Labour) AM for City and East
 • MPsLyn Brown (Labour)
Stephen Timms (Labour)
 • Total13.98 sq mi (36.22 km2)
 • Rank268th (of 296)
 • 15,662 sq mi (40,560 km2)
 • Total358,645
 • Rank25th (of 296)
 • Density26,000/sq mi (9,900/km2)
Time zoneUTC (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
Area code020
ONS code00BB
GSS codeE09000025
PoliceMetropolitan Police

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, West Ham, Stratford, Plaistow, Forest Gate, Beckton and Canning Town.



The borough was formed on 1 April 1965 under the London Government Act 1963, as a borough of the newly formed Greater London. It broadly covered the areas of the county borough of East Ham and the county borough of West Ham that were abolished by the same act. 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 part of the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich, the majority of which lay south of the River Thames), as did a small area around Gallions Reach west of the River Roding which had previously been part of the Municipal Borough of Barking. East Ham, West Ham and Barking had all historically been part of the county of Essex, whilst Woolwich had been part of Kent prior to becoming part of the County of London in 1889. Newham was devised for the borough as an entirely new name.[1]

Manor of Ham


The area of the modern borough was at one time occupied by a manor (an estate or landholding with certain legal responsibilities) called 'Ham'. The name comes from Old English 'hamm' and means 'a dry area of land between rivers or marshland', referring to the location of the settlement within boundaries formed by the rivers Lea, Thames and Roding and their marshes.[2]

The first known written use of the term, as 'Hamme', is in an Anglo-Saxon charter of 958, in which King Edgar granted the area to Ealdorman Athelstan. The territory was undivided at that time. A subsequent charter of 1037 describes a transfer of land which has been identified with East Ham, indicating that the division of the territory occurred between 958 and 1037.[3]

The Domesday Book shows landholdings divided further, and by the end of the 12th century these manors were being served, singly or in groups of manors, by the familiar ancient parishes of West Ham, East Ham and Little Ilford (now also known as Manor Park), with some areas by the Roding a part of Barking, and the area now known as North Woolwich attached to Woolwich. The earliest recorded use of the name West Ham, Westhamma, comes in 1186, and East Ham, Estham, is recorded in 1204.[4]

The boundary between West and East Ham was drawn from the now lost Hamfrith Waste and Hamfrith Wood in the north (then the southernmost parts of Epping Forest which extended as far south as the Romford Road at that time), along Green Street down to the small, also lost, natural harbour known as Ham Creek. Ham Creek was filled-in in the nineteenth century,[5] but the small residual head of the creek still formed the boundary between the two areas into the late 20th century, when what remained was also filled in.

The formation of the modern borough in 1965 saw the merger of West and East Ham, together with North Woolwich and Barking west of the River Roding. Little Ilford had become part of East Ham as part of earlier local government reorganisations.

Medieval period


The prosperity of the area increased due to the construction of Bow Bridge, the only bridge over the Lea, and the creation of Stratford Langthorne Abbey.


Newham Town Hall in East Ham (E6)
A map of the electoral wards of Newham Council from 2022 onwards

The local authority is Newham Council, which meets at Newham Town Hall in East Ham and has its main offices at 1000 Dockside Road, overlooking the Royal Albert Dock. Since 2002 the council has been led by a directly elected Mayor of Newham.

Greater London representation


Since 2000, for elections to the London Assembly, the borough forms part of the City and East constituency.


Population pyramid of Newham in 2021

Population figures

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.[6]


Ethnic demography of the London Borough of Newham over time
Population pyramid of Newham by ethnicity in 2021
Ethnic makeup of Newham in single year age groups in 2021
UK born and foreign born population pyramid in Newham in 2021. Males and females representing the UK born population while foreign males and females representing the foreign born population.

Newham has the youngest overall population and one of the lowest 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.[7]

Newham is very ethnically 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.[8] 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[9] with six out of the top 15 wards, behind Brent with 7 out of the top 15 wards.

Newham has the lowest percentage of both total White and White British residents of all of London's boroughs.[10][11] The joint-lowest wards with White British population are Green Street East and Green Street West, each having 4.8% – the third-lowest behind Southall Broadway and Southall Green in Ealing. East Ham North follows closely, at 4.9%.[12]

As of the 2021 UK census, people of "Bangladeshi" ethnicity are the largest single group in the borough at 15.9%. "White British" are the second largest group at 14.8%, with "White Other" third largest at 14.6%, "African" fourth largest at 11.6%, "Indian" next largest at 11% and then "Pakistani" at 8.9%. 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.[13] The nationality to increase the most in number since 1991 is the Bangladeshi community.[14] 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, having the 5th highest Indian population in London and the 2nd highest each for both Pakistani and Bangladeshi.[15]

Newham has 1,340 residents who were born in Ukraine, the highest population of Ukrainians in the UK.[16]

Ethnic Group 1971 estimations[17] 1981 estimations[18] 1991 census[19][20] 2001 census[21] 2011 census[22] 2021 census[23]
Number % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number %
White: Total 89.1% 141,043 69% 126,708 57.3% 96,130 39.42% 89,216 28.97% 107,947 30.8%
White: British 82,390 33.78% 51,516 16.73% 51,819 14.8%
White: Irish 3,231 1.32% 2,172 0.71% 2,039 0.6%
White: Gypsy or Irish Traveller 462 0.15% 353 0.1%
White: Roma 2,342 0.7%
White: Other 10,509 4.31% 35,066 11.39% 51,394 14.6%
Asian or Asian British: Total 38,203 18.7% 59,257 26,8% 81,651 33.48% 133,895 43.47% 148,187 42.3%
Asian or Asian British: Indian 22,259 29,105 29,597 12.14% 42,484 13.79% 38,642 11.0%
Asian or Asian British: Pakistani 9,214 13,162 20,644 8.46% 30,307 9.84% 31,216 8.9%
Asian or Asian British: Bangladeshi 3,019 8,550 21,458 8.80% 37,262 12.10% 55,677 15.9%
Asian or Asian British: Chinese 1,109 1,803 2,349 0.96% 3,930 1.28% 6,213 1.8%
Asian or Asian British: Other Asian 2,602 6,637 7,603 3.12% 19,912 6.47% 16,439 4.7%
Black or Black British: Total 23,046 11.3% 32,214 14.6% 52,653 21.59% 60,256 19.56% 61,302 17.4%
Black or Black British: African 6,686 12,639 31,982 13.11% 37,811 12.28% 40,874 11.6%
Black or Black British: Caribbean 13,528 16,015 17,931 7.35% 15,050 4.89% 13,586 3.9%
Black or Black British: Other Black 2,832 3,560 2,740 1.12% 7,395 2.40% 6,842 1.9%
Mixed or British Mixed: Total 8,248 3.38% 13,945 4.53% 16,419 4.6%
Mixed: White and Black Caribbean 2,986 1.22% 3,957 1.28% 4,253 1.2%
Mixed: White and Black African 1,657 0.68% 3,319 1.08% 3,317 0.9%
Mixed: White and Asian 1,652 0.68% 2,677 0.87% 3,324 0.9%
Mixed: Other Mixed 1,953 0.80% 3,992 1.30% 5,525 1.6%
Other: Total 2,108 3,121 5,209 2.14% 10,672 3.47% 17,175 4.9%
Other: Arab 3,523 1.14% 3,534 1.0%
Other: Any other ethnic group 5,209 2.14% 7,149 2.32% 13,641 3.9%
Ethnic minority: Total 10.9% 63,397 31% 94,592 42.7% 147,761 60.58% 218,768 71.03% 246,617 69.2%
Total 100% 204,440 100% 221,300 100% 243,891 100% 307,984 100% 351,030 100%



In 2018, Newham had the lowest life expectancy and the highest rate of heart disease of all London boroughs together with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.[24]

In 2019, the BBC reported that Newham had the highest rate of tuberculosis in the UK at 107 per 100000 population, which was higher than Rwanda (69) and Iraq (45) according to WHO figures from 2013. More than 80% of TB cases in London occur in people born abroad. The UK average was 13.[25]


Religious makeup of Newham by single year age groups in 2021

Religion in Newham as of 2021 [26]

  Christianity (40.0%)
  Islam (32%)
  Irreligion (14.5%)
  Hindu (6.1%)
  Sikh (1.6%)
  Buddhist (0.6%)
  Jewish (0.1%)
  Other (5.1%)

The following table shows the religious identity of residents residing in Newham according to the 2001, 2011 and the 2021 censuses.

Religion 2001[27] 2011[28] 2021[29]
Number % Number % Number %
Christian 114,247 46.8 123,119 40.0 123,746 35.3
Muslim 59,293 24.3 98,456 32.0 122,146 34.8
Jewish 481 0.2 342 0.1 448 0.1
Hindu 16,901 6.9 26,962 8.8 21,405 6.1
Sikh 6,897 2.8 6,421 2.1 5,638 1.6
Buddhism 1,592 0.7 2,446 0.8 2,160 0.6
Other religion 664 0.3 1,090 0.4 1,765 0.5
No religion 21,978 9.0 29,373 9.5 50,795 14.5
Religion not stated 21,838 9.0 19,775 6.4 22,933 6.5
Total 243,891 100.00% 307,894 100.00% 351,100 100.0%



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.[30]

Schools and colleges


The Borough is the education authority for the district providing education in a mix of Foundation, community and voluntary aided schools.[31] 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.[32]

Places of interest



  • The Hub, a community resource centre built by the local community, in Star Lane, E16, featuring up to the minute "green" features[clarification needed]
  • Grassroots, 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).[33]





There are a number of local markets in the Borough, including Queens Market, which the council was controversially seeking to redevelop. The proposal was successfully opposed 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 where the population is predominantly South Asian
  • Stratford Circus Arts Centre Archived 24 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine, a community arts venue which presents theatre, dance, music, circus and comedy from around the world for communities in Newham and East London. The organisation works with schools and local groups in Newham to provide classes, workshops and outreach opportunities. Stratford Circus Arts Centre partners with Newham Council for Every Child a Theatre Goer Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine which invites every year 6 child to a performance at the venue
  • 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






The local newspaper is the Newham Recorder.[37]



See List of districts in the London Borough of Newham for the full list, including neighbourhoods or localities which form part of the areas listed below.

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 Docklands Light Railway (DLR) first opened in 1987, and was extended from Tower Hamlets through to Beckton in 1994. The network has undergone many extensions since, including to serve London City Airport, as well as Stratford International station in 2011 after its High Speed 1 link opened in late 2009. The Jubilee Line Extension was completed in 1999, including new or improved stations at Canning Town, West Ham and Stratford. The DLR network compensates for Newham's lack of tube stations, of which there are only 6, in comparison with other London boroughs. The Crossrail scheme - opening as the Elizabeth line in 2022 - also delivered improved rail connections to several stations as it heads through the borough on an east west axis. Of the 28 stations in Newham, only 4 stations lack step free access - thanks to the recent age of many of the stations in the borough.

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.

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%.[38]

River services


Cable car


International services


Bus routes


Over 30 London Buses bus routes serve the London Borough of Newham, with main interchanges at Stratford, Stratford City and Beckton bus stations, with large bus interchanges also available at East Ham and Upton Park.[40]

Town twinning


Newham is twinned with:

Coat of arms


The borough adopted West Ham's coat of arms, but with a motto adapted from that of East Ham.[41]

The arms include the following elements:

The borough's motto, "Progress with the People" is an English translation of East Ham's Latin "Progressio cum Populo".

Freedom of the Borough


The following people and military units have received the Freedom of the Borough of Newham.



Military Units


Notable people


See also


References and notes

  1. ^ Mills, Anthony David (2001). Dictionary of London Place Names. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-280106-6
  2. ^ Mills, A.D. (2001). Dictionary of London Place Names. Oxford.
  3. ^ The Place Names of Essex, P.H. Reaney, 1969
  4. ^ The Place Names of Essex, P.H. Reaney, 1969
  5. ^ 'West Ham: Introduction', in A History of the County of Essex: Volume 6, ed. W R Powell (London, 1973), pp. 43-50. British History Online [accessed 11 November 2022].
  6. ^ Team, Tlang Research. "WP 8 McGlynn, C. (2015). Changing Landscapes: Four Superdiverse City Wards; Stratford and New Town, Newham, (London)".
  7. ^ "London's Poverty Profile". Trust for London. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  8. ^ GLA Data Management and Analysis Group (January 2006). "Simpson's diversity indices by ward 1991 and 2001" (PDF). p. 11, Table 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 September 2009. Greater London Authority, January 2006), accessed 13 December 2006
  9. ^ ":: Newham – Focus on Newham ::". 13 September 2007. Archived from the original on 13 September 2007.
  10. ^ Easton, Mark (20 February 2013). "Why have the white British left London?". BBC News. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  11. ^ Archer, Graeme (22 February 2013). "Let's talk about the exodus of 600,000 whites from London". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  12. ^ "The Ethnic Cleansing of London (Part 2) – British Democrats | British Democrats". 31 January 2013. Archived from the original on 30 July 2017. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  13. ^ Anwar, Muhammad (15 April 2013). Race and Politics. ISBN 9781135026172.
  14. ^ "Revised document links | Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  15. ^ "Ethnic Groups in London". Census Update. 2011. Office for National Statistics: 1. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 12 December 2011.
  16. ^ "Ukrainians living in England: which council areas have the highest population of people born in Ukraine?". National World. 4 March 2022. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  17. ^ Tim Butler, Chris Hamnett. "Ethnicity, class and aspiration". Policy Press. p. 66. Retrieved 8 June 2024.
  18. ^ Ethnicity in the 1991 census: Vol 3 - Social geography and ethnicity in Britain, geographical spread, spatial concentration and internal migration. Internet Archive. London : HMSO. 1996. ISBN 978-0-11-691655-6.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  19. ^ Ethnicity in the 1991 census: Vol 3 - Social geography and ethnicity in Britain, geographical spread, spatial concentration and internal migration. Internet Archive. London : HMSO. 1996. ISBN 978-0-11-691655-6.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  20. ^ "1991 census – theme tables". NOMIS. Archived from the original on 30 September 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  21. ^ "Census 2001 tables". NOMIS. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  22. ^ "Ethnic Group by measures". NOMIS. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  23. ^ "Ethnic group, England and Wales: Census 2021". Office for National Statistics. UK Government. 29 November 2022. Retrieved 6 December 2022.
  24. ^ "Diabetes and heart disease in Bangladeshis and Pakistanis | East London Genes & Health". (in Bengali). Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  25. ^ "London areas have higher TB than Iraq". 27 October 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  26. ^ "Religion". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  27. ^ "KS007 - Religion". Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  28. ^ "2011 census – theme tables". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  29. ^ "Religion - Office for National Statistics".
  30. ^ "London's Poverty Profile". Trust for London. Archived from the original on 3 July 2018. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  31. ^ Education and Learning Archived 13 June 2006 at the Wayback Machine London Borough of Newham, accessed 24 March 2008
  32. ^ "2012 Partners – 2012 Office – UEL". 23 September 2010. Archived from the original on 23 September 2010.
  33. ^ "Newham library services". Newham Council. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  34. ^ "Decision – North Woolwich Old Station Museum Closure". 21 January 2009. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  35. ^ "Green Street London E7 – Asian Shopping in London". Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  36. ^ "It's a new era for Newham and for Beagles athletics as they move into Stratford" (PDF). The Newham Recorder. 25 October 2017. Archived (PDF) from the original on 28 August 2021.
  37. ^ Newham news, sport, leisure, property, jobs and motors Newham Recorder
  38. ^ "2011 Census: QS701EW Method of travel to work, local authorities in England and Wales". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 23 November 2013. Percentages are of all residents aged 16–74 including those not in employment. Respondents could only pick one mode, specified as the journey's longest part by distance.
  39. ^ "Eurostar 'will not stop' at Stratford International". BBC News. 25 May 2010.
  40. ^ "Keeping London moving – Transport for London". 9 November 2016. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  41. ^ "The Civic Ambassador, The Coat of Arms". Archive.Newham.Gov.UK. Archived from the original on 2 June 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  42. ^[permanent dead link]
  43. ^ London Borough of Newham, Newham Dockside. "Freedom of the borough for Mark Noble". Newham Council.[permanent dead link]
  44. ^ London Borough of Newham, Newham Dockside. "Freedom of the Borough awarded to G Company 7 RIFLES". Newham Council. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 6 January 2020.

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