London Borough of Islington

Last updated

Lb islington logo.svg
Islington in Greater London.svg
Islington shown within Greater London
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region London
Ceremonial county Greater London
Historic county Middlesex
Created1 April 1965
Admin HQUpper Street, Islington
  Type London borough council
  Body Islington London Borough Council
  LeadershipLeader & Cabinet (Labour)
  MayorCllr Troy Gallagher
  London Assembly Jennette Arnold (Labour) AM for North East
   MPs Jeremy Corbyn (Labour)
Emily Thornberry (Labour)
  Total5.74 sq mi (14.86 km2)
Area rank315th (of 309)
 (mid-2019 est.)
  Rank74th (of 309)
  Density42,000/sq mi (16,000/km2)
  Ethnicity [1]
47.7% White British
3.9% White Irish
0.1% White Gypsy or Irish Traveller
16.4% Other White
2.1% White & Black Caribbean
0.9% White & Black African
1.4% White & Asian
2.1% Other Mixed
1.7% Indian
0.5% Pakistani
2.3% Bangladeshi
2.2% Chinese
2.6% Other Asian
6.1% Black African
3.9% Black Caribbean
2.8% Other Black
0.9% Arab
2.4% Other
Time zone UTC (GMT)
  Summer (DST) UTC+1 (BST)
Area code(s) 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 in Inner London. The borough includes a significant area to the south which forms part of central 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, both formerly represented by Labour Members of Parliament: Jeremy Corbyn, the party's leader from 2015 to 2020, represents Islington North and currently sits as an independent after the whip was withdrawn in October 2020, and Emily Thornberry represents Islington South & Finsbury. The local authority is Islington Council. The borough is home to football club Arsenal, one of the premier clubs in England and its home Emirates Stadium.

The southern part of the borough, south of the A501 Pentonville Road and City Road, forms part of central London, 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.


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.

Districts of Islington

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

Government and infrastructure

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 16 wards, each electing three councillors. [5] Following the May 2018 election, Islington Council comprises 47 Labour Party councillors and 1 Green Party councillor. Of these 48 councillors, the Leader of the council is Councillor Richard Watts, while the Mayor is Councillor Dave Poyser. [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.


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 in Islington


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 stations

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

Railway stations

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.

Crossrail (Elizabeth line) will pass through Farringdon once opened.

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]

Cultural attractions and institutions in Islington

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


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).

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


Ethnic Group2001 [14] 2011 [15]
White: British99,78456.76%98,32247.70%
White: Irish10,0575.72%8,1403.95%
White: Gypsy or Irish Traveller1630.08%
White: Other22,62312.87%33,89016.44%
White: Total132,46475.35%140,51568.17%
Asian or Asian British: Indian2,8511.32%3,5342.06%
Asian or Asian British: Pakistani9120.52%9510.46%
Asian or Asian British: Bangladeshi4,2292.41%4,6622.26%
Asian or Asian British: Chinese3,0741.75%4,4572.16%
Asian or Asian British: Other Asian1,4920.85%5,4302.63%
Asian or Asian British: Total12,5587.14%19,0349.23%
Black or Black British: African10,5005.97%12,6226.12%
Black or Black British: Caribbean8,5504.86%7,9433.85%
Black or Black British: Other Black1,8061.03%5,7292.78%
Black or Black British: Total20,85611.86%26,29412.76%
Mixed: White and Black Caribbean2,3291.32%4,2362.06%
Mixed: White and Black African1,2410.71%1,9120.93%
Mixed: White and Asian1,5430.88%2,9641.44%
Mixed: Other Mixed2,1211.21%4,2272.05%
Mixed: Total7,2344.11%13,3396.47%
Other: Arab1,8930.92%
Other: Any other ethnic group5,0502.45%
Other: Total2,6851.53%6,9433.37%
Black, Asian, and minority ethnic: Total43,33324.65%65,61031.83%



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. [16]


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

Barnsbury Human settlement in England

Barnsbury is an area of north London in the London Borough of Islington, in the N1 postal district.

Clerkenwell Human settlement in England

Clerkenwell is an area of central London, England.

Highbury Human settlement in England

Highbury is a district in North London and part of the London Borough of Islington that was owned by Ranulf brother of Ilger and included all the areas north and east of Canonbury and Holloway Roads.

Holloway, London Human settlement in England

Holloway is an inner-city district of the London Borough of Islington, 3.3 miles (5.3 km) north of Charing Cross, which follows the line of the Holloway Road (A1). At the centre of Holloway is the Nag's Head commercial area which sits between the more residential Upper Holloway and Lower Holloway neighbourhoods. Holloway has a multicultural population. It is the home of Arsenal F.C., and was once home to the largest women's prison in Europe, Holloway Prison, until 2016. Holloway is in the historic county of Middlesex.

Islington Area of London

Islington is a district in Greater London, England, and part of the London Borough of Islington. It is a mainly residential district of Inner London, extending from Islington's High Street to Highbury Fields, encompassing the area around the busy High Street, Upper Street, Essex Road, and Southgate Road to the east.

Highbury & Islington station London Underground and railway station

Highbury & Islington is a London Underground and National Rail interchange station in the London Borough of Islington, north London. It is served by the London Underground's Victoria line and the Great Northern's Northern City Line, as well as the London Overground's East and North London Lines.

Metropolitan Borough of Islington Former local authority of London, England

Islington was a civil parish and metropolitan borough in London, England. It was an ancient parish within the county of Middlesex, and formed part of The Metropolis from 1855. The parish was transferred to the County of London in 1889 and became a metropolitan borough in 1900. It was amalgamated with the Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury to form the London Borough of Islington in Greater London in 1965.

Pentonville Human settlement in England

Pentonville is an area on the northern fringe of Central London, in the London Borough of Islington. It is located 1.75 miles (2.82 km) north-northeast of Charing Cross on the Inner Ring Road. Pentonville developed in the northwestern edge of the ancient parish of Clerkenwell on the New Road. It is named after Henry Penton, the developer of the area.

Essex Road railway station Railway station in Greater London, England

Essex Road is a National Rail station in Canonbury in Greater London, England, and is on the Northern City Line between Old Street and Highbury & Islington, 1 mile 59 chains (2.8 km) down the line from Moorgate, and is in Travelcard Zone 2. The station is at the junction of Essex Road, Canonbury Road and New North Road, with the present entrance on Canonbury Road. Operated by Great Northern, it is the only deep-level underground station in London served exclusively by National Rail trains. Between 1933 and 1975 the station was operated as part of the London Underground, as a short branch of the Northern line. Between 1922 and 1948 the station name was Canonbury & Essex Road. The name reverted to the original form in 1948.

Liverpool Road

Liverpool Road is a street in Islington, North London. It covers a distance of 1+14 miles (2.0 km) between Islington High Street and Holloway Road, running roughly parallel to Upper Street through the area of Barnsbury. It contains several attractive terraces of Georgian houses and Victorian villas, many of which are listed buildings. There are a number of pubs, small businesses and restaurants along its route, as well as some secluded garden squares. The vast majority of the street is residential, with a bustling shopping and business area at the southern, Angel, end.

Islington South and Finsbury (UK Parliament constituency)

Islington South and Finsbury is a constituency created in 1974 and represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2005 by Emily Thornberry of the Labour Party. Thornberry served as Shadow Foreign Secretary from 2016 until 2020 and is currently Shadow International Trade Secretary.

Canonbury railway station London Overground station in the London Borough of Islington

Canonbury railway station serves the districts of Canonbury and Highbury within the London Borough of Islington in north London. It is on London Overground's North London Line and East London Line. The station and all trains serving it are operated by London Overground, and the station is in Travelcard Zone 2. This location of the station is close to the boundary with the London Borough of Hackney.

Finsbury Pavement

Finsbury Pavement is a short length of street connecting Moorgate with City Road in the London Borough of Islington. It forms a part of the London Inner Ring Road, and before the introduction of the ring of steel around the City of London it formed a major through-route towards London Bridge and south London.

Parks and open spaces in the London Borough of Islington

The London Borough of Islington is short of large parks and open spaces, given its status in recent decades as a desirable place of residence. In fact, Islington has the lowest ratio of open space to built-up areas of any London borough. The largest continuous open space in the borough, at 11.75 hectares, is Highbury Fields.

Islington London Borough Council

Islington London Borough Council is the local authority for the London Borough of Islington in Greater London, England. The council was created by the London Government Act 1963 and replaced two local authorities: Finsbury Metropolitan Borough Council and Islington Metropolitan Borough Council. It is a London borough council, one of 32 in the United Kingdom capital of London. Islington is divided into 16 wards, each electing three councillors. Following the May 2018 election, and a subsequent defection, Islington Council comprises 46 Labour Party councillors, 1 Green Party councillor, and 1 Conservative Party councillor. Of these 48 councillors, the Leader of the Council is Councillor Kaya Comer-Schwartz, while the Mayor is Councillor Troy Gallagher.

2006 Islington London Borough Council election

The 2006 Islington Council election took place on 4 May 2006 to elect members of Islington London Borough Council in London, England. The whole council was up for election and the Liberal Democrats lost overall control of the council to no overall control.

Angel, London Human settlement in England

Angel is an area on the northern fringes of central London within the London Borough of Islington. It is 2 miles (3.2 km) north-northeast of Charing Cross on the Inner Ring Road at a busy transport intersection. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in London. It is a significant commercial and retail centre, and a business improvement district. It is named after the former Angel Inn which stood on the corner of Islington High Street and Pentonville Road.

2018 Islington London Borough Council election

The 2018 Islington London Borough Council election took place on 3 May 2018 to elect members of Islington London Borough Council in England. This was on the same day as other local elections. The council had previously had elections in 2014. The Labour Party retained control of the council, winning 47 of the 48 seats. The sole non-Labour councillor elected was Caroline Russell of the Green Party.


  1. 2011 Census: Ethnic group, local authorities in England and Wales , Office for National Statistics (2012). See Classification of ethnicity in the United Kingdom for the full descriptions used in the 2011 Census.
  2. "London Government Act 1963" . Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  3. 'Islington: Growth', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 8: Islington and Stoke Newington parishes. 1985. pp. 9–19. Retrieved 13 March 2007.
  4. "Islington Town Hall". Islington Council. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  5. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 October 2010. Retrieved 16 October 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. "Members of Islington Council". Islington Council. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  7. "Your Councillors". Islington Council. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  8. "Privacy Policy." Immarsat. Retrieved on 26 March 2014. "99 City Road London EC1Y 1AX United Kingdom"
  9. "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.
  10. [ bare URL ]
  11. 2011 Census: Ethnic group, local authorities in England and Wales
  12. "Trust for London". London's Poverty Profile. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  13. "Population by Religion, Borough – London Datastore".
  14. "KS006 - Ethnic group". NOMIS. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  15. "Ethnic Group by measures". NOMIS. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  16. "BBC News | EDUCATION | Islington schools: is privatisation working?".
  17. [ bare URL ]
  18. "The HAC receiving the Freedom of the Borough of Islington". Reserve Forces and Cadets Association for Greater London. 1 October 2009. Archived from the original on 10 September 2012.
  19. Brigstock-Barron, Rory. "Former councillor and veterans given freedom of Islington".
  20. Drew, Rosie. "Freedom of the borough for Islington and Holloway's firefighters".

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