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Westminster is the takeaway capital of the UK

Kebab shop in Old street

There were around 43,235 takeaways and mobile food stands across the country in 2021, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates.

That was a 5.6% increase from 40,930 the previous year, which was the largest annual rise since 2015 – the earliest year with comparable figures – when there were 36,855.

That is likely to be at least partly driven by the pandemic, as people forced indoors during successive lockdowns turned to their favourite takeaway foods for comfort. It means there were 64.5 takeaways per 100,000 people in the UK – although that varied massively between areas.

Westminster is the takeaway capital of the UK

Many places with the highest density of takeaways were in urban areas that would naturally attract the trade – Westminster in the centre of London came top, with 116.7 per 100,000. In London, that was followed by 90.4 per 100,000 in Tower Hamlets and 86.7 per 100,000 in Islington.

And towns such as Scarborough, which came second at 105.8 per 100,000, might have done so partly due to being coastal resorts with takeaways catering for tourists.

However, many areas like Blackpool (third at 101.2 per 100,000) are also relatively deprived compared to many other parts of the country.


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