Why is London so particularly competitive? In part it is simple demographics. With a population of 8,546,761 London has grown 16% in a decade, adding a million new people since 2004. There are now 2,117,000 children under the age of 19 in London, and this population is predicted to swell by 13% over the next decade. New school places are simply not being built quickly enough. Entrance to all types of school in London is now highly competitive, with parents scrambling for primary and secondary school places.