East London is the northeastern part of London, United Kingdom. Although without an official definition, the concept of a section of London to the east of the City of London has its origins in 1720 as "That Part Beyond the Tower". By 1950 it was explicitly called East London and was considered to include all of Greater London east of the City of London and north of the River Thames. This area now comprises the London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Hackney, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.
The East End of London is a subset of East London, corresponding to areas closer to the ancient City. The early development of London eastward was caused by the expansion of industries associated with the River Thames, such as ship building and the docks. Because these industries declined in the later part of the 20th century, East London is now an area of regeneration. In the London Docklands this has reached advanced stages, but in the sections of East London that are within the Thames Gateway it is continuing, such as the redevelopment in Stratford associated with the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Areas further east developed in the Victorian and Edwardian eras following the expansion of the railways in the 19th century. Development of suburban houses for private sale was later matched by the provision of large scale social housing at Becontree in the 1920s and Harold Hill after the Second World War. However, the urban footprint was constrained in 1878 by the protection of Epping Forest and later the implementation of the Metropolitan Green Belt. The density of development increased during the interwar period and new industries developed such as Ford at Dagenham. In Tower Hamlets the population peaked in 1891 and growth was restricted to the outer boroughs. By 1971 the population had peaked in every borough and the entire area was experiencing population decline. As of the 2011 census this has reversed and every borough has experienced some growth in population.