The 1990s saw a new mood of optimism in London. The capital began to think of itself as truly global. It grew relaxed with its multicultural population and proud of its creative buzz. London in the 1990s became, statistically, different to the rest of the country. The capital had a younger population and a far more multicultural one. By the end of the century 29% of Londoners were from a minority ethnic group, as compared to 9% in Britain as a whole.

London's cosmopolitan outlook was reinforced by new developments in transport. The Channel tunnel opened in 1994, linking London directly to the European rail network. Cheap airline flights brought new tourists to London and transformed travel and holiday possibilities for ordinary Londoners. Despite all the changes the 20th century had brought to the capital, London ended the century in the way it had began, as a city conscious that its fortunes were inextricably entwined with the rest of the world.

London's population 1991

Greater London: 6,679,699 people
Inner London: 2,504,451 people

London's population 2001

Greater London:7,172,036 people
Inner London: 2,765,975 people

London's economy and jobs

By the end of the century banking and financial services accounted for 22% of London's overall economy. Manufacturing had shrunk to 9% and public services had fallen back to 11%. Tourism had risen to 15%. A new sector had started to grow. By the end of the 1990s over 200,000 people were employed in London's creative and cultural industries - advertising, fashion, design, software, music and electronic publishing. During the 1990s London increasingly became a city of small or medium sized firms. 13.6 % of London's workforce were self-employed, a higher proportion than anywhere else in the UK. London also had more women and ethnic minorities in its workforce than anywhere else.

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