London Borough of Islington

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Coat of Arms of the London Borough of Islington.svg
Islington in Greater London.svg
Islington shown within Greater London
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region London
Ceremonial county Greater London
Created1 April 1965
Admin HQ Islington Town Hall, Upper Street, Islington
  Type London borough council
  Body Islington London Borough Council
  LeadershipLeader & Cabinet (Labour)
  MayorCllr Marian Spall [1]
  London Assembly Sem Moema (Labour) AM for North East
   MPs Jeremy Corbyn (Elected as Labour, now independent)
Emily Thornberry (Labour)
  Council LeaderCllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz (Labour)
  Total5.74 sq mi (14.86 km2)
  Rank315th (of 309)
  Rank82nd (of 309)
  Density38,000/sq mi (15,000/km2)
Time zone UTC (GMT)
  Summer (DST) UTC+1 (BST)
Area code 020
ONS code 00AU
GSS code E09000019
Police Metropolitan Police

The London Borough of Islington ( /ˈɪzlɪŋtən/ ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ) IZ-ling-tən) is a London borough which forms part of Inner London. Islington has an estimated population of 215,667. It was formed in 1965 under the London Government Act 1963, which simultaneously abolished the metropolitan boroughs of Islington and Finsbury. [2]


The new entity remains the second smallest borough in London and the third-smallest district in England. The borough contains two Westminster parliamentary constituencies; Islington North, represented by former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, and Islington South & Finsbury represented by Labour MP Emily Thornberry. The local authority is Islington Council. The borough is home to football club Arsenal, one of the premier league clubs in England and its home Emirates Stadium.


Islington was originally named by the Saxons Giseldone (1005), then Gislandune (1062). The name means 'Gīsla's hill' from the Old English personal name Gīsla and dun 'hill', 'down'. The name then later mutated to Isledon, which remained in use well into the 17th century when the modern form arose. [3] In medieval times, Islington was just one of many small manors in the area, along with Bernersbury, Neweton Berewe or Hey-bury, and Canonesbury (Barnsbury, Highbury and Canonbury – names first recorded in the 13th and 14th centuries). "Islington" came to be applied as the name for the parish covering these villages and was the name chosen for the Metropolitan Borough of Islington on its formation in 1899. On the merger with Finsbury to form the modern borough, this name came to be applied to the whole borough.


The southern part of the borough, south of the A501 Pentonville Road and City Road, forms part of the central London congestion charging zone and the Ultra Low Emission Zone. A significant part of the southern section of the borough borders the City of London, with the area to the west bordering the London Borough of Camden. The central London area includes Farringdon and Old Street stations both in Zone 1.


The borough includes the areas:


A map showing the wards of Islington since 2002 Islington London UK labelled ward map 2002.svg
A map showing the wards of Islington since 2002


Islington Town Hall IslingtonTownHall.jpg
Islington Town Hall

Islington Council is the borough's local authority. It is a London borough council, one of thirty-two principal subdivisions of the administrative area of Greater London. The council was created by the London Government Act 1963 and replaced two local authorities: Finsbury Metropolitan Borough Council and Islington Metropolitan Borough Council. The former Islington Metropolitan Town Hall, at the intersection of Upper Street and Richmond Grove, serves as the present Borough's council building. [4]

Islington is divided into 17 wards, each electing three councillors. [5] Following the May 2022 election, Islington Council comprises 48 Labour Party councillors and 3 Green Party councillors. Of these 51 councillors, the Leader of the council is Councillor Kaya Comer-Schwartz and Councillor Caroline Russell is the leader of the Green opposition group. [6] [7]

Islington is represented by two parliamentary constituencies. Islington North is represented by Jeremy Corbyn of the Labour Party, the Leader of the Opposition between 2015 and 2020. Islington South and Finsbury is represented by Emily Thornberry, former Shadow First Secretary of State and Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and current Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade of the Labour Party.

Islington forms part of the North East constituency for the London Assembly, represented by Jennette Arnold, also of the Labour Party.


In the Victorian Age, some parts of Islington such as Clerkenwell were known for their poverty, which George Gissing describes in his naturalist novel, The Nether World (1889).

Inmarsat head office Shoreditch inmarsat building 1.jpg
Inmarsat head office

Inmarsat has its head office in the borough. [8]

Major public and private bodies


There is one prison in Islington, a men's prison, HM Prison Pentonville. Until it closed in 2016 there was also a women's prison HM Prison Holloway, which in the early 20th century was used to hold many suffragettes.


The Borough boasts a large transport network for rail, bus, cycles and road users.

London Underground

There are ten London Underground stations in the borough across London fare zones 1, 2 and 3. These stations are principally served by the Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria lines, although the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines also pass through the Borough:

The Piccadilly line carries passengers to key London destinations, including the West End and Heathrow Airport ( BSicon FLUG.svg ). The Northern and Victoria lines also link the Borough to the West End, whilst the Northern line (Bank Branch) also passes through the City of London.

Just beyond the Borough's borders are King's Cross St Pancras (in the London Borough of Camden) and Moorgate (in the city).

London Overground

There are also several London Overground stations in the borough, all but one of which are in London fare zone 2:

National Rail

There are several other National Rail stations in Islington, which offer direct services to destinations across London, East Anglia and South East England:

Farringdon and Finsbury Park are served by Thameslink services, with some trains travelling direct to Gatwick Airport ( BSicon FLUG.svg ), as well as destinations including Cambridge, Peterborough, Brighton and Sevenoaks. Other stations, including Finsbury Park, are served by Great Northern trains which normally operate between Moorgate and Welwyn Garden City. The Elizabeth line calls at Farringdon.

Moorgate lies just to the south of the Borough, in the City of London, whilst King's Cross lies to the Borough's immediate west, with destinations including Sheffield, Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Inverness.

Travel to work

In March 2011, the main forms of transport that residents used to travel to work were: underground, metro, light rail, tram, 19.4% of all residents aged 16–74; bus, minibus or coach, 10.3%; on foot, 10.3%; bicycle, 6.2%; driving a car or van, 6.0%; train, 3.7%; work mainly at or from home, 3.6%. [9]

Attractions and institutions

The 'Angel Central' shopping arcade Islington n1 centre.jpg
The 'Angel Central' shopping arcade


Population pyramid of the Borough of Islington Islington population pyramid.svg
Population pyramid of the Borough of Islington
1801 65,721    
1811 83,679+27.3%
1821 108,333+29.5%
1831 137,271+26.7%
1841 162,717+18.5%
1851 214,090+31.6%
1861 266,010+24.3%
1871 317,930+19.5%
1881 369,850+16.3%
1891 397,799+7.6%
1901 405,301+1.9%
1911 412,944+1.9%
1921 401,054−2.9%
1931 389,513−2.9%
1941 324,143−16.8%
1951 269,743−16.8%
1961 232,258−13.9%
1971 200,022−13.9%
1981 157,512−21.3%
1991 173,384+10.1%
2001 175,787+1.4%
2011 206,125+17.3%
2013 215,667+4.6%
Source: A Vision of Britain through time

In 1801, the civil parishes that form the modern borough had a total population of 65,721. This rose steadily throughout the 19th century, as the district became built up; exceeding 200,000 in the middle of the century. When the railways arrived the rate of population growth increased—reaching nearly 400,000 by the turn of the century; with the Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury particularly suffering deprivation, poverty and severe overcrowding. The increase in population peaked before World War I, falling slowly in the aftermath until World War II began an exodus from London towards the new towns under the Abercrombie Plan for London (1944). The decline in population reversed in the 1980s, but it remains below its 1951 level.

According to the 2001 census Islington had a population of 175,797. It was 75% White, including 5% White Irish, 6% Black African, 5% Black Caribbean and 2% Bangladeshi. Thirty-two per cent of the borough's residents were owner–occupiers.

According to the 2011 census, Islington has the highest population density of local authorities in England and Wales—13,875 people per square kilometre. [10]

Islington has the second highest proportion of Irish people in the country, behind London Borough of Brent. [11]

A 2017 study by Trust for London and the New Policy Institute found that a third of Islington residents live in poverty. This is above the London average of 27%. It also found that just 14% of local employees are in jobs which pay below the London Living Wage - which is the 4th lowest figure of any London borough. [12]

39% of the borough are Christian, 12.8% Muslim, 1.7% are Jewish and 42.7% have no religion. [13] Christians and Muslims live throughout the borough, while the Jewish population is highest in the north of the borough in the Hillrise and Junction wards (bordering Highgate and Crouch End).


Ethnic makeup of Islington by single year ages in 2021 Ethnic makeup of Islington by single year ages in 2021.svg
Ethnic makeup of Islington by single year ages in 2021

The following table shows the ethnic group of respondents in the 2001, 2011 and 2021 census in Islington.

Ethnic Group1991 [14] 2001 [15] 2011 [16] 2021 [17]
White: Total133,60181.12%132,46475.35%140,51568.17%134,75462.1%
White: British 99,78456.76%98,32247.70%86,09239.7%
White: Irish 10,0575.72%8,1403.95%7,0623.3%
White: Gypsy or Irish Traveller 1630.08%1080.0%
White: Roma9580.4%
White: Other 22,62312.87%33,89016.44%40,53418.7%
Asian or Asian British: Total10,1996.2%12,5587.14%19,0349.23%21,53210.1%
Asian or Asian British: Indian 2,4241.5%2,8511.32%3,5342.06%4,0511.9%
Asian or Asian British: Pakistani 6150.4%9120.52%9510.46%9950.5%
Asian or Asian British: Bangladeshi 2,6951.6%4,2292.41%4,6622.26%5,9722.8%
Asian or Asian British: Chinese 2,1411.3%3,0741.75%4,4572.16%5,1252.4%
Asian or Asian British: Other Asian2,3241.4%1,4920.85%5,4302.63%5,3892.5%
Black or Black British: Total17,44610.6%20,85611.86%26,29412.76%28,74313.3%
Black or Black British: African 6,0093.6%10,5005.97%12,6226.12%18,0918.4%
Black or Black British: Caribbean 8,3205.1%8,5504.86%7,9433.85%7,3683.4%
Black or Black British: Other Black 3,1171.9%1,8061.03%5,7292.78%3,2841.5%
Mixed or British Mixed: Total7,2344.11%13,3396.47%16,2317.4%
Mixed: White and Black Caribbean2,3291.32%4,2362.06%4,1711.9%
Mixed: White and Black African1,2410.71%1,9120.93%2,2571.0%
Mixed: White and Asian1,5430.88%2,9641.44%3,7501.7%
Mixed: Other Mixed2,1211.21%4,2272.05%6,0532.8%
Other: Total2,6851.53%6,9433.37%15,3307.1%
Other: Arab1,8930.92%2,9911.4%
Other: Any other ethnic group3,4402.1%2,6851.53%5,0502.45%12,3395.7%
Ethnic minority: Total31,08518.87%43,33324.65%65,61031.83%81,83637.9%


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

Religion2001 [18] 2011 [19] 2021 [20]
Holds religious beliefs116,31066.2110,07653.4111,22251.4
Christian 95,30554.282,87940.275,12934.7
Muslim 14,2598.119,5219.525,84011.9
Sikh 5900.35690.36030.3
Hindu 1,7511.02,1081.02,1951.0
Buddhist 1,8401.02,1171.01,8130.8
Jewish 1,8461.11,9150.92,7141.3
Other religion7190.49670.52,9301.4
No religion41,69123.761,91130.088,46640.8
Religion not stated17,79610.134,13816.616,9027.8
Total population175,797100.0206,125100.0216,590100.0



The London Borough of Islington is home to two higher education institutions:

Moorfields Eye Hospital is a major centre for postgraduate training of ophthalmologists, orthoptists, optometrists, and nurses.

Further Education

The borough also currently contains three colleges of further education:

There are two performing arts colleges. The Urdang Academy and the Musical Theatre Academy are both based in Islington.


The borough currently maintains 47 primary schools, 10 secondary schools, three special schools and five Pupil Referral Units. In 2000, Cambridge Education Associates, a private firm, took over the management of the Islington's state schools from the local education authority. [21]


The Islington Gazette is a local newspaper.

Freedom of the Borough

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


Military Units

See also

Related Research Articles

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Clerkenwell</span> Area of central London

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Highbury</span> Human settlement in England

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Islington</span> District of London, England

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Coordinates: 51°32′N0°08′W / 51.533°N 0.133°W / 51.533; -0.133