The London Borough of Newham formed from the towns of West Ham and East Ham, within East London.
It is situated 5 miles (8 km) east of the City of London, and is north of the River Thames. Newham has one of the highest ethnic minority populations of all the districts in the country. The local authority is Newham London Borough Council, the second most deprived in England.
Although statistically Newham is counted as part of Inner London, the borough is still considered part of Outer London for purposes such as funding. The council is actively campaigning to have Newham officially considered part of Inner London for all purposes in order to increase its level of government grant.
Unlike most English districts, its council is led by a directly elected mayor of Newham. At the borough elections held on 6 May 2010 the Labour Party won all 60 of the seats on the Council. Sir Robin Wales was re-elected as the borough's Executive Mayor with 68% of the first preference votes cast.
Newham has the highest young population and one of the lowest White British populations in the country according to the 2001 Census. The borough has the second highest percentage of Muslims in Britain (24.3%).
When using Simpson's Diversity Index on 10 aggregated ethnic groups, the 2001 census identified Newham as the most ethnically diverse district in England and Wales, with 9 wards in the top 15.
The main ethnic groups are Whites and Asians. Based on 2006 estimates by the Office for National Statistics, over 39% of the population is white, approximately 38% of the population is Asian, of which 10.2% are Indian, 7% are Bangladeshi, 13.9% are Pakistani, and 5.1% are from other Asian backgrounds. Approximately 20% of the population is black, of which 6.5% are Caribbean, 12.4% are African, and 1.1% are from other black backgrounds.
In addition, Newham has the highest fertility rate in the country at 2.87, as of 2009, compared to the national average of 1.95.