Acton is centred 6.1 miles (10 km) west of Charing Cross. At the time of the 2011 census the population was 62,480, a ten-year increase of 8,791 people. North Acton, West Acton, East Acton, South Acton, Acton Green, Acton Town, Acton Vale and Acton Central are all parts of Acton (and are all redirected here).
Acton means "oak farm" or "farm by oak trees", and is derived from the Old English āc (oak) and tūn (farm). Originally an ancient village, as London expanded, Acton became absorbed into the city. Since 1965, Acton equates to the east of the London Borough of Ealing though some of East Acton is in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and a small portion of South Acton is in the London Borough of Hounslow. Acton is the location with the most railway stations bearing its name anywhere in the United Kingdom apart from the full names of the London terminus stations, seven. All are within its latest and centuries-old definitions.
Central Acton is synonymous with the hub of commerce and retail on the former main road between [[Place:London, London, England|London and Oxford (the Uxbridge Road), a reminder of its history is in its inns, which date back in cases to the late Tudor period as stopping places for travellers. Nowadays, the principal route linking London and Oxford (the A40 dual carriageway) bypasses central Acton, but passes through East Acton and North Acton.