London is not the UK


I am flying over the French sky. It’s 7pm and the sun quickly disappears behind the orange horizon. This is always a good thing when I fly back to London. Better to forget the sun, as soon as I can. Sunset. Dark. Now I can go back without really missing the sunshine of these days of early Milanese spring.

I get one of those pointless new lifestyle magazines in my hands. I am even not sure yet what lifestyle really means. The magazine is titled ‘The good life’. Then I find a couple of interesting pages. A short article about London. I am intrigued by the figures:

  • Between 2007 and 2011 London economy has grown double than the rest of the country – 12.5% vs 6%
  • 37% of London inhabitants are foreigners, vs 13% of the rest of the UK
  • % of job creation in London is 10 times higher than Edinburgh, second town in UK
  • 1000 startups were created in London between 2005 and 2015. 280 in Paris. 390 in Milan
  • London generates 22% of national GDP
  • Average salary in London is 28% higher than national average
  • London’s GDP is similar to the Swiss and Swedish GDPs
  • In 2 years East London (not the full town, just a few districts) has created same number of jobs of the sum of Manchester and Newcastle
  • Fintech’s growth between 2008 and 2013 has doubled San Francisco and Bay Area

So it’s clear to me. And this confirms the perception I have every time I walk around my new town. London is not the UK. London is just London.

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