Why is SW5 so small?

Kake L Pugh kake at earth.li
Mon Aug 18 13:38:44 BST 2008

Kake L Pugh pondered thusly:
>>It's tiny.  Why is it so small?  It's not like it's densely populated
>>or anything.

On Fri 15 Aug 2008, Andy Wardley <abw at wardley.org> wrote:
> I guess it's because Earls Court was one of the more densely populated areas
> of London in the latter half of the 19th century when the postcodes were 
> first introduced.

Though the numbered postal districts were only split out from the
all-encompassing SW in 1917 (according to Wikipedia anyway).

> Apparently SW5 has a current population of just under 10k, while the much
> larger SE1 has a population of 55k.  Given the relative sizes, SW5 is
> certainly more densely populated (to look at just one example that WP
> happened to have the figures for).

Ah-ha.  I didn't realise it actually was densely populated.  That makes sense.

> The UK census information is available online from the Office of National
> Statistics.
> http://www.ons.gov.uk/census/get-data/index.html
> I'm sure they must have a chart or table somewhere that lists population by
> postcode, but it's probably buried 17 layers deep on their web site and I
> can't find it.

Ha, isn't it fun trying to actually find census data?  The best I've
managed so far is population by London borough, which is at

This page:
suggests that you need to send off for a CD if you want things at the
postal district level.  Further investigation reveals that I'll need
to request this via fax, so it'll have to wait until I can figure out
how to work our fax machine.

> Do I win SW5 pounds?

You win an SW5 pint, to be consumed in an SW5 hostelry of your choosing
at a mutually-agreeable time and date.


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