Greater London Urban Area
Learn more about Greater London Urban Area
The Greater London Urban Area is the conurbation or continuous urban area based around London, in south east England. As defined by the Office for National Statistics at the time of the 2001 census it had a population of 8,278,251, making it the second largest urban area in the European Union, after Paris.
The Greater London Urban Area includes most, but not all of Greater London (for example excluding Biggin Hill, which is surrounded by countryside), while taking in many surrounding areas such as Hemel Hempstead, Woking and Epsom that aren't generally considered parts of London itself and lie outside London's borders. It is a wholly urban area, so it is not as large as the metropolitan area. The urban area does not include places such as Slough, Luton and Potters Bar, that have gaps of countryside in between the towns and the main urban area of London. The Metropolitan area has a population of 12-14 million, depending on which borders are used.
The growth of the urban area's physical extent has largely been curtailed since the development of the Metropolitan Green Belt in 1938, which limited development within a ring of countryside around London. As London's economy has grown and house prices have risen this has led to the growth of the London commuter belt - a ring of towns that are physically separate from the urban area but still functionally operate largely as suburbs, with large proportions of their populations dependent on the urban area for employment.
 Constituent parts
At the time of the 2001 Census, the Office for National Statistics defined the Greater London Urban Area as being made up of the following localities.
* = outside Greater London
 External links
- Population figures for Urban Areas in England and Wales
- Map showing the extent of the Greater London Urban Area in 2001 (5.6Mb pdf)