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Knowing our communities

Hackney is a rich, vibrant mix of different communities and is the sixth most diverse borough in London.

The history of Hackney’s diverse communities

Historically Hackney has welcomed people from around the world and inward migration can be traced back to the 17th century with the arrival of immigrants such as the French Huguenots.

There are well established Caribbean, Turkish and Kurdish, Vietnamese and Orthodox Jewish communities as well as newer communities of people from African countries and Eastern Europe.

The 2011 Census estimates Hackney’s population to be 246,300 which is expected to grow to 316,500 by 2041. Around 40% of the population come from Black and Minority Ethnic groups with the largest group (approximately 20%) being Black or Black British. 36% the population are White British and 16% are “other White.”

Hackney has one the largest groups of Charedi Jewish people in Europe who predominately live in the north east of the borough and represent 7% of the borough’s overall population. At least 4.5% of Hackney’s residents are Turkish and are mainly concentrated in the South, East and Central parts of the borough. At least 89 different languages are spoken in the borough.

More on Hackney’s history of diversity.

Age and sex

Hackney is a relatively young borough with 25% of its population under 20 and a further 23% aged between 20-29 years old. People aged over 55 make up 18% of the population.

The proportion of children and young adults in Hackney is likely to change little between now and 2041. In contrast, the working age population (aged 16-64) is projected to rise by over 45,000 over the next 25 years. The 65+ age group is also projected to rise both in terms of numbers and the proportion of the population, particularly after 2021.

More information on the age and sex of Hackney’s population.


According to the 2011 Census, there are almost 18,000 carers in Hackney. This is lower than the average in London and England – probably because there are a greater proportion of young people living in Hackney.

More information on Hackney’s carers.


According to the 2011 Census, 14.6% of the population of Hackney or 35,709 people, reported that they were disabled or that they experienced long-term limiting illnesses.

It’s estimated that there are around 18,000 carers in Hackney that provide unpaid support to thousands of Hackney residents who are frail, ill or disabled.

More information on disability in Hackney.

Gender reassignment

Data on gender reassignment is not available at borough level.. A Home Office-funded study estimated there were between 300,000 and 500,000 transgender people in the UK. More information on gender reassignment.

Marriage and civil partnership

27% of adults in Hackney are married or in a civil partnership compared to 40% in London and 47% in England and Wales.

More on marriage and civil partnership in Hackney.

Pregnancy and maternity

There were 4,377 live births in City and Hackney births to women in Hackney in 2014. The fertility rate for Hackney is 60.1 live births per 1,000 women of child-bearing age compared to 63.3 in London and 62.2 in England. More information on pregnancy and maternity in Hackney.

Race and ethnicity

The 2011 Census estimates that around 40% of the population come from black and minority ethnic groups with the largest group (approximately 20%) being black or black British. 36% the population are white British and 16% are ‘other white’.

Hackney has one the largest group of Charedi Jewish people in Europe who predominately live in the north east of the borough and represent 7% of the borough’s overall population. 6% of Hackney’s residents were born in Turkey and live throughout the borough. An estimated 100 languages are spoken in the borough.

More information on race and ethnicity.

Religion and belief

Hackney’s communities represent a diversity of religions and beliefs. Nearly 40% say that they are Christian, 28% say they have no religious belief, 14% say they are Muslim and 6% say they are Jewish.

More information on religion and belief in Hackney.

Sexual orientation

It is difficult to accurately gauge the size of the lesbian, gay and bisexual community as under-reporting is a recognised issue. The 2015 GP patient survey indicates the number of people in Hackney who identify as gay or lesbian is 5% and bisexual is 2%.

Official estimates vary but the upper estimate for London suggests around 10% of the population is lesbian, gay or bisexual. More information on sexual orientation in Hackney.

General resources on equality and diversity

The Equality and Human Rights Commission publishes guidance for employers, workers, service providers, businesses, public bodies, organisations and service users to help them understand and implement the 2010 Equality Act and the 1998 Human Rights Act.

The University of Warwick has a human rights and equality impact of public resource database. This contains useful resources for carrying out equality impact assessments.

The Women and Equalities Commons Select Committee conducts inquires on issues like Transgender equality, the gender pay gap and employment opportunities for Muslims in the UK and makes recommendations to Government and other agencies.

Facts, figures and performance

We have a legal duty to publish information about people who use our services and our employees who share a protected characteristic.

Our single equality scheme sets out all the main actions which the Council is committed to deliver in order to advancing equality and promoting cohesion.

In order to collate this scheme we have considered what we know about key inequalities in Hackney from our statistics, needs assessments and surveys and summarised them in our equalities evidence base:

We are constantly refining the way we collect information about our communities, the way we analyse the information and how we make best use of the evidence base available

We have a responsibility to know and understand the needs and expectations of our residents and the communities in which they live. We use this information when making decisions about the services we provide.

Shared evidence base

Visit our shared evidence base for:

  • quarterly facts and figures on key social, economic and demographic information for Hackney
  • the Hackney profile – a guide to the borough’s population with key data on economy, health, housing, environment, crime, development and equalities
  • ward profiles – key statistics for each of Hackney’s 21 wards
  • population information including: official estimates of the size and structure of the population, and data on current characteristics and future growth trends
  • a child poverty needs assessment
  • the City and Hackney health and wellbeing profile
  • our housing needs assessment
  • our local economic assessment
  • cross-cutting policy reviews


To ensure our services are meeting the needs of users, we regularly monitor the performance of our services.


We carry out up to 100 consultations each year on a wide range of subjects.

Page updated on: 4 July 2019