The borough is very ethnically diverse. It has extreme contrasts, with areas in the west, such as Highgate, Muswell Hill and Crouch End that are among the most prosperous in the country. In the east of the borough, some wards are classified as being among the most deprived 10% in the country.
Haringey is also a borough of contrasts geographically. From the wooded high ground around Highgate and Muswell Hill, at , the land falls sharply away to the flat, open low lying land beside the River Lea in the east. The borough includes large areas of green space, which make up more than 25% of its total area.
The Romans' presence is evidenced chiefly by the roads they built through the area. Tottenham High Road was part of the main Roman thoroughfare of Ermine Street. There have also been Roman finds in the borough which suggests possible Roman settlement.
At the time of Domesday, the western part of modern Haringey was within the Manor of Harengheie and part of the Bishop of London's principal Manor of Stepney. The eastern part was within the Manor of Tottenham held by Waltheof II, Earl of Northumbria, the last of the great Anglo-Saxon Earls..
Haringey remained a rural area until the 18th century when large country houses close to London became increasingly common. The coming of the railways from the mid-nineteenth century onwards led to rapid urbanisation. So that by the turn of the century much of Haringey had been transformed from a rural to an urbanised environment.
The borough in its modern form was founded in 1965, from the former Municipal Borough of Hornsey, the Municipal Borough of Wood Green and the Municipal Borough of Tottenham which had all previously been part of Middlesex. The legacy of these old municipal divisions survives to the present day, with the relative propsperity of the different parts of the borough still split broadly along the old boundary lines.
The names Haringey, Harringay and Hornsey in use today are all different variations of the same Old English - Haeringes-hege. Haering was a Saxon chief who lived probably in the area around Hornsey. Haering's Hege, meant Haering's enclosure and evolved into Haringey, Harringay and Hornsey.
The official explanation of the coat of arms is given as:
The contrasting colours of black (sable) and gold (Or) symbolise stability - the element earth is traditionally represented in black - and enterprise. The half cogwheel in front of the rising sun represents industry and a bright future - the rising sun symbolises the new borough itself. The radiating golden rays symbolise action reaching out to the boundaries of the borough, those that revolve around the centre of the shield symbolise movement. They also allude to the first television transmission from Alexandra Palace, one of the landmarks in the borough of Haringey. The Heraldic decoration includes a mantling or cloth formerly worn on the back of the helmet to keep the sun off the wearer. The motto is Progress with Humanity.
The modern logo is fashioned on the coat of arms.
Haringey has a population of 216,507. with approximately 3,548 known asylum seekers.
The population grew by 8.6% between 1991 and 2006 and is projected to grow by a further 5.4% by 2016 to 233,125. The male to female ratio is 50:50 and the age structure is similar to that of London as a whole although younger than the national average. Haringey has a high proportion of young adults in the 20-39 age range and a low proportion of residents aged 45 and over. The borough has a high proportion of lone parent households.
The ethnic composition of Haringey's residents is 65.7% White, 14.7% Asian, 12.1% Black, 4.6% Mixed, 1.1% Chinese and 2% Other. An estimated 193 languages are spoken in the borough.
There are about 97,101 dwellings in Haringey. Of those: 46% are owner occupied; 17.4% are council rented; 10.8% are rented from a registered social landlord; and 24% are rented from a private landlord. Just over 55% of residents in Haringey live in flats, apartments or maisonettes. The local council and housing associations provide about 27,463 affordable homes and in 2006 over 19,000 households were waiting to be housed by the borough. There are almost 5,500 households living in temporary accommodation. In 2002/03 over 1,300 households were accepted as homeless by the council.
In November 2007 a Liberal Democrat councillor, Catherine Harris, crossed the floor to join the Labour Party. This was the first such occasion in the history of the borough. The Labour majority thus increased to 5 (31 Labour, 26 Liberal Democrat).
No Conservative candidate has won a local government election in Haringey since 1998.
Seats on Haringey Council, by party:
There are 19 wards in Haringey. Although they bear the names of long-established local areas, many have boundaries which do not exactly match the locally understood boundaries of those areas. The wards are:
In 2006, there were 8,200 businesses in Haringey employing a total of 64,700 people. This accounted for 1.6% of all employment in London.
Haringey's economy is dominated by small businesses with 94.2% of businesses employing less than 24 people. These small businesses account for 39.3% of total employment in the borough.
The main sectors of employment in Haringey are:
The borough has a number of facilities offering a wide range of cultural activity
Haringey has of parks, recreation grounds and open spaces which make up more than 25% of its total area. They include both smaller local areas and large green areas which provide an amenity for Londoners beyond the borough's boundaries. Local Nature Reserves and a number of conservation areas can also be found in the borough. The borough is also home to five distinct ancient woods. These are Highgate Woods, Queen's Wood, Coldfall Wood, Bluebell Wood and North Wood.
There are three rivers of note still flowing above ground in the borough. These are:
Haringey has 63 primary (including infant and junior) schools, 10 secondary schools, a City Academy, 4 special schools and a pupil support centre. In addition there is off site provision and study support centres for children and young people with additional needs. Ten Children’s Centres were opened in 2006 and a further eight are planned for 2008.
The number of pupils in Haringey Schools as at January 2006 was 34,990 (Including nursery age children). This total was made up as follows:
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, currently in the FA Premier League, is located in the borough in Tottenham High Road.
London Skolars are a rugby league team that compete in National League 2, they play at New River Stadium in Wood Green, Haringey. The annual Middlesex 9s rugby league tournament also takes place at the New River Stadium.
The Borough's ice hockey team, the Haringey Greyhounds currently play at Alexandra Palace. Alexandra Palace has also hosted other events including the PDC World Darts Championship and a number of Boxing events.
Haringey has been Town twinning with Koblenz, Germany since 1969. It has also twinned with the towns of Arima in Trinidad and Tobago, Clarendon in Jamaica, Larnaca in Cyprus, Livry-Gargan in the suburbs of Paris, France, Sundyberg in Sweden and Jalasjarvi in Finland
There are a large number well-known people who have lived or are living in the borough, particularly in the areas of Highgate, Muswell Hill and Crouch End. The group includes Samuel Taylor Coleridge, J. B. Priestley, Yehudi Menuhin, Sting, George Michael, Ho Chi Minh, David Gray and Oliver Tambo.