Hemel Hempstead is a historic town, later developed as a new town, in Hertfordshire, England. Located 24 mi northwest of London, it is part of the Greater London Urban Area. The population according to the 2001 Census was 81,143, and at the 2019 census was 97,500. Developed after the Second World War as a new town, it has existed as a settlement since the 8th century and was granted its town charter by King Henry VIII in 1539. It is part of the district (and borough since 1984) of Dacorum and the Hemel Hempstead constituency. It is surrounded by other cities, towns and villages such as Watford, St Albans, Hatfield, Hitchin, and Berkhamsted.