The council of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced its decision after both cities made their final presentations in Monaco on Friday.
IAAF vice-president and London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe led London’s presentation and has already been able to fulfil his promise that the Olympic Stadium would have an athletics legacy.
Huge boost for Athletics
Sports and Olympics minister Hugh Robertson, London mayor Boris Johnson, former Olympic heptathlon champion Denise Lewis and world junior 100 metres champion Jodie Williams also contributed.
“It’s a great, great result and it’s down to the clarity of the message that (UK Athletics chairman) Ed Warner and the team have been working on,” Coe said.
“The maintenance of the track and field legacy was absolutely crucial.
“It was very important for us not to get spooked by inducements (from Doha) and just to make sure that people understood in London we have the stadium stuffed to the gunnels with people who look like they want to be there and know why they want to be there.”
Britain has had previous attempts to stage the championships end in failure, with a bid for the 2001 event having to be abandoned after plans to include an athletics track into the redevelopment of Wembley Stadium were scrapped.
London was then awarded the 2015 World Championships after a new stadium at Picketts Lock was promised, but the Government went back on the plans.
Another bid, this time for the 2011 edition of the event, was withdrawn due to uncertainty over the future of the Olympic Stadium.