If you are looking to settle down in London (the capital city of England, UK), below you will find a short overview of what London is really like today in terms of its different populations and the mentality of its people. If you are looking for information about London tourism, universities and so on, this web page and website is not for you.
Regardless of what you hear in the media about London being a great place (Cool Britannia) and its people getting on with each other (tolerating each other), below I will be telling you some of the realities of WHAT TO EXPECT while living in London.
London is so over-populated with "Foreigners" and people originally from other parts of the UK that it is now difficult to find a real 'Cockney' Londoner living in Central London. They used to live in the East and South-East of London (Whitechapel, Stepney Green, Elephant & Castle, Etc), but have since moved to Essex and Kent for example.
These days the East of London is over-populated by Asians (i.e. Pakistanis, Indians and Bangladeshis) with the South-East and South-West of London being over-populated by Africans (i.e. Nigerians, Ethiopians, Somalians, Etc). Spanish have communities in Elephant & Castle, Hungarians have communities in Wembley and Wood Green, Filipinos have communities in Central London, Barking, Queens Park and Kilburn and Polish have communities in Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush whereas the Jewish community is mainly around Stamford Hill, Seven Sisters and Clapton. Southhall is almost pure Asian.
"Foreigners" are generally attracted to London because of what they have seen in the media (i.e. "Cool Britannia", great nightlife, tourism and the perceived image that everyone in London always has plenty of money in their pocket and have nice houses), with the assumption they will be able to survive in London because there will be an expat community to help them with interpretation, finding property to rent and finding a job; when in reality many "Foreigners" come to realise that in London all you do is work, pay the bills and sleep, with no time for leisure and relationships.
To some degree it is easier to find a job and find property to rent in London, even with a little English only, but the clever "Foreigners" read about the other parts of England beforehand, read facebook posts that tell the realities of living and working in England, and generally have a better understanding of what to expect before moving to England; especially if they hear of and/or know of people who have returned home as a failure.
Many "Foreigners" come to London because they think they will become richer than if they were back home. However, in London rents are so ridiculously high that all of your wages will go to paying the rent, bills and living costs (i.e. transport, food and cigarettes); so not much left over for taking your children somewhere interesting and/or saving money in the bank, unless you are single and live in a bedsit (one room).
When you hear stories on facebook for example of people coming to London and making enough money to buy a property back home, or at least pay off their mortgage and/or debts, those are normally the type of people who do not mind sharing a small flat with 9 other people for years, do not mind working 50+ hours a week on a minimum wage job for years whereby they save every penny for years and do not mind never getting to see and enjoy London and the rest of England. In other words, they work like slave workers just to save money and/or send money back home.
These days you need two jobs to survive in London. One job to pay for the rent and bills and the other job to pay for living expenses. Many women work in the sex industry if they cannot make it in London.
If you move out of London, to Liverpool for example, you will find much lower rents (i.e. £700 per month compared to £1,200 in London). So you could be working 40 hours a week in London on a minimum wage job (40 hours x £7.50 = £300 per week / £1,200 per month), which only pays the rent, or be working in Liverpool for the same £1,200 per month whereby you could save money to send back home as well as see and enjoy the rest of England.
There is an assumption that London has all the jobs and that you cannot find a good job anywhere else in England, but this simply isn't true. What you will find in London is many "Foreigners" doing mundane jobs such as kitchen porter work, road sweeping, restaurant waiter/waitress work and so on.
London is NOT community based in general. It has different communities of nationalities who 'tolerate each other', but it does NOT have friendly communities of mixed friends and neighbours who talk to each other and help each other. Many people might say "Hello" to their neighbours, out of politeness/respect, but then cannot tell you the names of those neighbours; if asked.
Furthermore, same "Foreign" nationalities tend to stick together. Different "Foreign" nationality children might play together at school for example, but then do not play together (meet up) as different "Foreign" nationality families/neighbours/communities in the evening, at weekends and/or in holiday periods. They stick with their same "Foreign" nationality friends instead when, I believe, they should integrate more. Hence one reason why "Foreigners" in London who do not integrate do not get to see the true side and benefits of living in England.
Many people in London (mainly residents) think they can do as they please in their neighbourhood because of their neighbours being "Foreign". One such thing is playing loud music at any time of the day, night or early morning. They do this partly because they do not respect their neighbours, even if they are elderly residents, but also because they know their neighbours (elderly and/or "Foreign") will not dare call the police and/or council when they are playing loud music.
People in London do not really like to interfere in other peoples' lives and problems because of fear of backlash, being taking advantage of and/or because they know the police and council are powerless to do anything about problems (due to lack of resources or because they just don't care anymore).
The stereotype for these bad situations are that "Those problems only happen on council estates", but this is NOT true. Even in rough ares of London, there are some very nice council estates that are clean and trouble free. Even I couldn't say "Avoid this or that part of London" or "Avoid council estates" simply because I have lived on many good and bad council estates as well as in good and bad areas of London whereby the so-called good places have been bad and vice versa.
I have lived in various parts of London for 30+ years now with nobody attacking me verbally or physically. I cycle around London on a daily basis whereby I feel safe to do so. And I have "Foreign" friends as well as English friends whereby we treat each other equally and with respect - We see each other as personalities first regardless of each others colour, nationality and religion. In other words: London is a great place to live, regardless of the above bad factors, if you sincerely respect and welcome each other from the start.